Introduction to Email Templates

Table of Contents


What's an Email Template?

Think about an email you've recently sent to someone. Now imagine you have to send that same email to ten other people.  Creating a template simply allows you and your team to write the email once and use it over and over again.  You can even use Merge Tags to personalize your templates so they automatically include information like the patient's name in the salutation.  Your template can also include your practice logo, an image, and clickable link buttons.  To learn what you can add into your template, see the What the Email Template Editor Looks Like section below.

YAPI comes pre-loaded with quite a few email templates at install, but you are always free to create your own, edit the ones you have, or download and import pre-made ones for free from our Template Library.


Why Use an Email Template?

Email templates provide a way to consistently communicate with your patients. They allow you to:

  • Stay on brand
  • Use the same tone and language for everyone
  • Avoid human errors and typos
  • Work more efficiently by not needing to recreate each email

Taking the time to create and use these templates means email communications represent your practice and brand in the best possible way. You won't have one patient that receives a great email while another laughs about all the typos that they found. (And yes, they did tell their friends about the typos.)


What's the Difference Between Enhanced & HTML Templates?

When you create an email template in YAPI, you'll see an option to create either an enhanced email template or an HTML one.  Enhanced email templates are the standard way to manage email communications in YAPI and the option you should always choose. HTML templates are the older version of YAPI templates and shouldn't be used anymore.  They aren't as robust as enhanced templates and some of their functionality when sending is no longer supported. 


What are Merge Tags? Do I Need to Use Them for Templates?

A merge tag is a placeholder where individualized information is inserted into each recipient's final email. They always have two square brackets, with the specific field or variable inside the bracket. 

For example, if you want to address each patient by their first name, you can use the merge tag [[FIRST]] and each recipient will see their name in the email. 

Merge tags are pre-defined in YAPI since they integrate with patient records. This means you can't make up your own tags. 

When creating or editing email templates used in automated emails and Mail Blasts, we highly recommend using merge tags so your patients have a personalized experience.  To learn more about the merge tags you can use and how to use them, see Personalizing Email Templates with Merge Tags and Merge Tags for Email Templates.

Note: Merge tags aren't supported when sending emails to one patient at a time, so keep this in mind when creating your templates.


Accessing the Email Template Editor

In YAPI, you'll use the Email Template Editor to create and edit your email templates.  You can access the editor by opening an existing email template or creating a new one:

  1. From the YAPI Dashboard, click Setup and Manage Setup_and_Manage.png and select Manage Documents and Templates.

  2. When prompted, enter your YAPI password and click OK.

  3. In the Manage Documents and Templates window (which shows the Email Templates tab by default):

    • Click New to create a new template, OR
    • Select a template from the list and click Edit to edit an existing one.
Tip: To learn more about accessing the editor and making your own templates, see Creating an Email Template in the Dashboard or Editing an Existing Email Template.


What the Email Template Editor Looks Like


Blue1.png Name mceclip7.png HTML Editor mceclip13.png Communication Icons
Blue2.png Subject mceclip9.png Unsubscribe Link  BlckX.png Share


mceclip10.png Logo mceclip14.png Advertising 
Blue4.png Theme mceclip11.png Image mceclip15.png Google Reviews
Body Text & Body Text 2 mceclip12.png Action Button BlckX.png

Google Map

Note: When working on a template, the Name, Subject, Tag, and Theme fields are required.   All other fields shown (labelled in orange above) are optional.



This is the office-facing name of your template that patients won't see.  When you send an email, this is the template name you'll look for, so it should be distinct and something your office team can recognize.

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This is the subject line for the email that patients will see in their inbox.

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This field is used to group and organize your email templates into the following categories:

  • Generic
  • Appointment Reminder
  • Save the Date
  • Recall
  • Birthday Card

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YAPI's pre-defined email template themes have set colors and margins, so you don't have to do any of that yourself. Themes impact the visual appearance of an email but don't change the message itself or any of the other fields shown in the Email Template Editor. 

The YM_T2 & YM_T_LILAC templates have a purple background and the rest of the templates have a white background. Each template offers slightly different margin sizes for the body of your email so we suggest playing around with each or using the Show button to see an example and determine which you prefer.


Back to Email Template Editor Picture

Body Text & Body Text 2


This is where you'll set what you want the body of the email to say. In most cases, you'll use only the top Body Text space for your message but if you choose to use Action buttons, you can enter text in the Body Text 2 section as well, which will display below the buttons.  

Note: If you know HTML, the template's Body Text boxes will accept any valid HTML tags and special characters not available on your keyboard can be included with HTML encoding (For example, you can include a copyright symbol - © - by placing the HTML entity code "©" in the Body Text boxes). If you're not familiar with HTML, YAPI provides a built-in WYSIWYG HTML Editor that displays the text in a form closely resembling how it will appear in email, rather than in HTML.

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HTML Editor


The built in HTML editor helps you create the perfectly formatted email every time without having to know any HTML. Clicking the HTML Editor button opens a separate window where you can draft your email and format the text, change its color, size, or weight.  YAPI then creates the HTML code for you, which you can then paste into the Body Text boxes in the Email Template Editor.  For details about how the HTML Editor works, see Creating an Email Template in the Dashboard.

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Unsubscribe Link


By law, every automated email must provide an opt-out or unsubscribe mechanism. You can customize the content of this area, but legally you must add an unsubscribe link to any templates used in Mail Blasts or in YAPI's automated email systems.  Luckily, YAPI includes this link in all its pre-installed templates and enables it automatically for you in every new template!

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If you've imported your practice logo into YAPI, this field displays it at the top of each new email template by default. The Position field allows you to set where (and if) the logo displays: at the top of the email, at the bottom, or not at all (Hidden).

Note: When the position is set to At the Top, the logo always display above any other image if you opt to use the Image field below.

Back to Email Template Editor Picture



This field is used to add a web-hosted image to your template. To learn more about hosting an image and adding it to your template, see Adding Images to an Email Template (Hosting Images Online). 

Note: When both a Logo and Image are enabled in a template, the logo always displays on top, then the additional Image displays below the logo.

Back to Email Template Editor Picture

Action Buttons


Action Buttons are buttons that link patients to a specific website when clicked.  The Email Template Editor allows up to three buttons per email and each button has three attributes:

  • Text – The text visible on the button
  • URL – A website link that is loaded when the button is clicked
  • Color – The color of the button

You can use these buttons to link patients to marketing content, your website, or their online forms. 

Warning! Some appointment reminder templates that come pre-installed with YAPI include a [[URICONFIRM]] merge tag in place of a link on the first Action Button.  This allows patients to confirm their appointment and shouldn't be altered or removed from these templates.

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Communication Icons


This section allows you to add icons linking to your practice's email address, website, and Facebook page. 


Note: The Google+ option is no longer supported. Also, to utilize this section, you must add your email address, website address, and Facebook web address in the Practice tab of Global setup.  To learn how, see Changing Practice Contact Information Within YAPI.

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Warning! This option is no longer supported. If used, the email will display a broken image.

Back to Email Template Editor Picture




This section allows you to add a web-hosted image at the bottom of the email that leads to a link when clicked.  You can use this for linking your patients to sites like your Yelp page or a page on your website that highlights special offers.  You can also use it to link to videos you've hosted on YouTube or Vimeo, using the image as a clickable thumbnail.  We even have some pre-made patient-facing videos and thumbnails you can use for free!

Back to Email Template Editor Picture


Google Reviews


This adds a link at the bottom of your email so that patients can easily review you on Google:

Note: To use this option, you must add your practice's Google Place ID in the Practice tab of Global setup.  To learn how, see Changing Practice Contact Information Within YAPI.

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Google Map


Warning! This feature is currently disabled due to changes in the Google Maps platform. 

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What a Sent Email Looks Like

The image below is an example of how items in the Email Template Editor appear in the final email that your patients see. Each email may look slightly different depending the options selected in the Email Template Builder.



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