Making the Most of Custom Tables

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Custom tables act as an extension of your data feed to Nordis, used to present variable content into documents and emails, such as state-specific disclosures, different daily lodging rates based on resort, or payment instructions that vary for the various hospitals you service. 


What communications do you use tables for?
If all or most of your recipients are receiving the same text with fields that enable you to insert the same type of information—account numbers, customer addresses and so on– you may not need custom tables. But if you need a business rule to handle  information in your communications such as hours of operation that change based on the resort or hospital or type of loan serviced, then a custom table could save you a lot of time and effort.

Custom tables can be used for any type of document created in Expresso—print, electronic and text.


How do they work?
We create business rules, or programmed logic, to control how the variables from the custom tables are populated into documents. The tables link to a defined Primary Key, which is typically a field in the data file, such as rate code, state, hospital name or client ID, or resort room type.


So what variable data can you put in custom tables?

A word or number. When Nordis introduced custom tables, the Primary Key could be linked to just a snippet of text, such as room numbers or rates.

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Blocks of copy.
Now clients can set up custom tables to convey sentences, paragraphs, even entire letters, such as individual hospital payment policies or payment plan options or descriptions of each resort room type. Some healthcare providers, for example, want their own word-for-word thank-you-for-choosing-us-as-your-provider messaging displayed on their patients’ bills. Our healthcare revenue cycle management and loan servicing clients use tables to create the unique customization needed for each of the hospitals or businesses they service.

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Images. Some clients assign certain photos or other images to appear in documents about specific companies, locations or state of residence. For example, a loan servicing company using Expresso can more easily manage the different logos for each of the business customers they service.

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PDFs.
You can add an entire laser insert or modify the back page of a statement, such as including each hospital’s policies for financial assistance and contact information. Financing firms may need to send notices of cancellation, and they could set up the state as the Primary Key so the necessary language and documentation are included with the mailing package or linked to the email.

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Ranges of information.
You can create a date picker so start dates and end dates can control date-range-specific messages in correspondence, such as a new restaurant will be open during your visit and is already accepting reservations or directions to an alternative entrance for labor and delivery because the main ER will be under construction. This is especially effective for cross-sell messaging.

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More than one data variable. You can build custom tables that accommodate more than one variable. You’d still set up a primary key, but it could be a combination of more than one field in your data for example, ‘state’ and ‘county’.  You can then add a business rule that affects documents going to people in those specific counties in those states, so you can include a message such as “We hope you and your loved ones were not affected by the hurricane.”

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Making changes to custom tables
Like everything built in Expresso, custom tables give you flexibility so you can edit them as needed (for example, cross sell marketing messaging needs to stay fresh and relevant) and the PDFs you upload for the tables right on your dashboard. Of course, our client services team is also happy to help you with changes.

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