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Many moons ago I wrote a scathing blog post about using Emails in Salesforce It was my first experience of things that Salesforce JUST CAN'T DO. Almost 4 years Years later and nothing much has changed. Except well if you count a whole new way of building emails in Lightning Experience (I haven't even dared look yet - until Lightning can simply show me the help hover text on fields, that I have thoughtfully set up for all my clients, I'm just not interested). that STILL to this day (Summer '21) does NOT actually work appropriately.  

So, still, here we are 4 years later and I still can't do something very simple. Surely I'm wrong and I need your help.  

I LOVE Visualforce email templates - it's coding in emails, and it allows me to get the emails created really well - eg if it's this product, then enter this text, otherwise enter this other text. OR don't display this paragraph unless condition A, B and C are met. 

I HATE HTML emails (and Lightning Emails) because they are UGLY and the only way you get fields onto them from related objects is to create formula fields. I have an Opportunity object that is used for 3 different types of Opportunities - I already have 10 relationships on the Opp, I can't add any more fields that span any other relationships.  

I need to send an email from the Opp that the User can view and modify before they hit send (It is REALLY important to the users that they put their own personal stamp on the emails so they can ensure they maintain their personal interaction with their client, but the email is about a complex contract so it needs to be worded just so). Surely that is not hard. This email needs to be constructed in a very particular way - basically different text depending on the record type of the Account related to the Opp

  • I can't use VF email templates because you can't edit the VF email template before sending - why oh why is this so? 
  • I can't use HTML email templates because I can't get all the complex logic into the email because of my spanning formula limitation, and also I don't want this text hidden away in formulas. 
  • I could use Flow, but I'm not yet entirely convinced... but it's something to look at for sure. 
  • I could add a field on the Opp to allow the users to enter an intro or closing paragraph, but that is horrible, and takes the user away from what they are doing to send the email. 
  • I could use Drawloop to create a PDF file, but they don't have a way to create a proper merged Email, like Conga does, and I want this key info on the email, not hidden away in the file. 
  • I could create two HTML emails and ask the user to be very careful to ensure they choose the correct one - yeah, not going to happen. 
  • If I was using Cases I could use Email to Case Premium that has a very cool feature that only the correct templates are used depending on values in the record - but E2CP doesn't work with other object. 
  • If I was using Cases, hell, I could just probably use the wonderful QuickText to give the users ways to quickly enter key fields, but nope, QuickText is languishing in Case Feeds only. 
  • I could get it coded, but no one has time for that - especially when this process is a trial process to see if it works for the new product the company is launching. We could code something and then they decide to not do it that way after a few weeks. 
  • I could get my client to purchase Cirrus Insight - hey, you know, that is probably the ideal solution. Now that Cirrus Insight works for Outlook. (But I'm not sure that Cirrus Insight works with Visualforce emails. It doesn't say No here
  • Campaign Monitor's excellent Salesforce Integration by Beaufort12 now does Transactional Emails... BUT they can not be viewed before sending. However, IF you use a blank template and build your email body via Flow then you could see the email then, but then you can't edit it. So nope, it's not the best solution for this specific problem. 
  • What about Inbox - it's a paid feature but you can use Email Templates in Outlook / Gmail with that. 

What are your ideas? How do I create a structured email that the users can then edit before sending? Anyone?