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Request documents from customers

This article applies to:Avalara CertCapture

Store customer records and compliance documents in CertCapture. Use CertCapture to obtain new or updated documents through a single request or as part of a larger campaign.

Create a CertCapture Campaign to send multiple requests at once.

After you successfully request documents from customers, run reports to monitor your records for missing or invalid certificates.

Send a single certificate request

When you need a compliance document from one customer, send a single document requestHoverTT.png.

Send a single request

  1. Use Search or Quick Search to find a customer.
  2. Select the Customer Number, and then select Send Document Request.
  3. Customize your request:
    Field Description
    Company Defaults to the company your customer is associated with. 
    Customer # / Name

    This is filled automatically when you find a customer and select Send Document Request.

    Change it if you want to send a request to someone else.

    Cover Letter A cover letter explains what you need from your customer. CertCapture provides generic cover letters for sending requests when documents are missing, expired, or invalid. 

    Create new cover letters and customize them with template tags.
    Delivery Method

    Download - When you complete the request, CertCapture creates a PDF of the cover letter and blank document templates. To download the PDF, go to Profile > Download Center. Find the request, and select Download. Print the PDF and mail it to your customer yourself.

    Email - When you complete the request, CertCapture emails your cover letter and blank document templates to the email address you specify. If you choose Email as the delivery method, an Email Address field appears. Cover Letters are attached to emailed requests as a downloadable PDF. The default email template can't be customized.

    Fax - When you complete the request, CertCapture faxes your cover letter and blank document templates to a fax number you choose. A Fax Number field appears if you pick Fax as the delivery method.

    Location The associated Retail location. Only visible or required if you're using CertCapture for Retail.
    Return Date

    When the document is due.

    Set a default Return Date for all requests in your Company Settings.

    Custom Message This text is added to your cover letter wherever you place the Custom_Message template tag
    Exposure Zones The jurisdictions where you need a document from your customer to cover audit exposure. What you choose here helps CertCapture know which blank documents to recommend for your customer.
    Document Category Pick an exemption reason or another document category. What you choose here helps CertCapture know which blank documents to recommend for your customer.
    Document Templates Based on the exposure zones and document categories you picked, CertCapture recommends blank document templates to send your customer. Select each document template you want to send. 
  4. Select Generate Request.
    • If you chose Download as the delivery method, look in your Download Center for a PDF of the request
    • If you chose Email or Fax, the request is sent to your customer

Locate a single sent request

There are two ways to search for a single request: with a customer number or without one.

If you know the customer number:

  1. Use Search or Quick Search to find the customer.
  2. Select the Customer Number.
  3. On the Customer Details page, select Requests to view details for recent requests submitted to this customer. 

If you don't know the customer number:

  1. Go to Search > Customer Search.
  2. Select Advanced, and then select Campaign Criteria to expand the section.
  3. From the Has Requests drop-down, choose the type of date to search by.
  4. Set the Start and End dates, and then select Get Search Results. Requests that match the date range you selected display.

  5. Select the Customer Number to open the Customer Details page.
  6. On the Customer Details page, select Requests to view details for recent requests submitted to this customer.

Create a Campaign to request documents from multiple customers

This article applies to:Avalara CertCapture

Create a CertCapture campaign to send an email, letter, or fax to many customers at once. Campaigns can only be created from a customer search.

Create a campaign

The first step of any campaign is searching for the customers you want to message.

  1. Go to Search > Customer Search.
  2. Select the search criteria for customers to include in your campaign, and then click Get Search Results.
  3. Click the Perform Action On Results drop-down and select New Campaign

  4. Enter a Campaign Title, and then adjust your campaign settings:
    Field Description
    Include Customers Already in Another Campaign Include customers who are part of an existing campaign. CertCapture sends a document request to a customer even if that customer received a request in another campaign.
    Omit Customers Already in Another Campaign Exclude any customers who are part of an existing campaign. CertCapture won't send an additional request to those customers.
    Missing Certificate Exposures Generate requests for exposure zones in which customers are missing certificates.
    Invalid Certificate Exposures Generate requests for exposure zones in which customers have invalid certificates.
    Expired Certificate Exposures Generate requests for exposure zones in which customers have expired certificates
    Include Soon To Expire Exposures Generate requests for certificates that are currently valid but will expire within a specified number of days
    Taxable Exposures Generate requests for customers who are classified as taxable or who have a taxable certificate
    Override (Send to All Customers from Search Generate requests for customers even if they have a valid certificate on file
    Billing Customers Include all billing customers in the campaign. This is the most common selection.
    Shipping Customers Include all shipping customers in the campaign
    Only Exposures from Search

    Only include customers in the exposure zones chosen in your search filter. Use this to create campaigns exclusively for customers in specific states or exposure zones. This option also includes customers with missing documents.

    This option is not available if you don't filter for an exposure zone in your search settings.

    Exclude Same-As Relationships Exclude customers in a same-as relationship with other customers already included in the campaign so that you don’t generate duplicate requests
    Expand Bill-to-Ship Addresses Show the bill-to address and any associated ship-to addresses in the cover letter. See FAQ.
  5. Select Exempt Reasons.
  6. Click Prepare Exemption Certificate Campaign
  7. On the Round 1 tab, complete the following fields:
    Field Action
    Send Date Specify the date when you expect to send the requests. This date merges into the cover letter if you use the correct tag in the cover letter template.
    Requested Return Date

    Date the document is due back from your customer.

    Set a default Return Date for all requests in your Company Settings.

    This date merges into the cover letter if you use the correct tag in the cover letter template.
    Generate Date Specify the date you want CertCapture to generate the request files. This field defaults to the day prior to the send date.

    This specifies how you send the request for certificates to customers.

    If you choose Postal Mail, you print a PDF to send to customers by postal mail. Contact your Customer Account Manager (CAM) to add Managed Services to your account and have Avalara mail the requests for you via USPS.

    Email Template / Cover Letter

    Select the cover letter you want to use for this request campaign. 

    Create new cover letters or edit existing ones.

    Cover Letters Only Select to generate only cover letters, without exemption certificate templates.
    Include Most Recent Invalid Select to include a copy of the most recent invalid certificate you have from each customer with the requests.
    Include CertExpress access Select to send an invitation to customers to use the online form submission tool to create documents.
    Automatically Send Round

    Select to automatically send the request campaign on the send date you entered.

    If you don't select this option, use the Send Emails section to send the campaign.

    Notes Add notes about the request campaign. Your customers don't see these notes.
  8. Click Save Campaign Changes.
  9. From Select Customers, review the customers that will be included in the campaign.
    • Customers with checkmarks by their names are included in the campaign
    • Uncheck a customer to remove them from the campaign round
  10. From Preview, click Cover Letter Preview or Email Content to review the message that will be sent to recipients. 
  11. To add another round to your campaign and customize it, click the + next to the Round 1 tab, and then repeat steps 6 and 7. For example, create an email campaign for the first round, and then follow that with a mailing campaign several weeks later.
  12. Click Save Campaign Changes.
  13. To initiate your request campaign, click one of the following:
    • Print, and then click Create Printable File to create a printable file of the campaign documents
    • Send Emails, and then click Send Certificate Requests to send the campaign email to the email address on file for each customer
    • Send Faxes, and then click Send Certificate Requests to send the campaign letters using the fax number on file for each customer

Return to the Campaign Overview tab when you want to:

  • Check your campaign status
  • View campaign recipients and the exposures they are responsible for
  • Add or remove customers from the campaign using the checkbox beside their name
  • Export a .csv file with campaign information. Click Export Overview Data


Create campaigns by state

Create campaigns that are limited to a specific state or exposure zone. Use this feature when you have customers with multiple exposure zones, but want to limit campaign requests to a specific state. Customers in those exposure zones that are missing exemption documents are also included in this type of campaign.

Just like any other campaign, it must be created from search results.

  1. Go to Search > Customer Search.
  2. Under Document Criteria, add the Exposure Zone the campaign should be limited to. Click Get Search Results.
  3. Click the Perform Action on Results drop-down and select New Campaign.
  4. Check Only Exposures from Search. This setting ensures campaign recipients only receive requests for the exposure zones you specified in your search settings.
  5. Add a Campaign Title and Exempt Reasons. Customize other settings as needed, and then click Prepare Campaign.
  6. Only customers in the exposure zone you specified should be included. Use the steps for creating a campaign at step 6 to set up the new campaign round.

Request documents by retail location

  1. Go to Search > Certificate Search.
  2. Click Advanced, click Retail Location to expand section, and then type the criteria for your search.
  3. Click Get Search Results.  Retail locations that match the criteria you selected display.
  4. Click Export Report, type a name for your results file, and then click Export Results.
  5. Click your name in the Dashboard and select Download Center.
  6. In the Actions column for the search results file you want to view, click Download.
  7. Open your results file and copy the numbers from the Customer Number column.
  8. In CertCapture, go to Search > Customer Search.
  9. In the Customer Criteria section, paste the customer numbers you copied into the Customer Numbers field, and then click Get Search Results.
  10. Continue creating your campaign at step 3.

Clone a campaign round

Cloning copies the details from a previous campaign round. Use cloning to speed up the campaign process and expedite sending a new request, following-up on a previous round, or delivering a thank you note to your customers.

To clone a campaign:

  1. Go to Manage Documents > Campaigns.
  2. Campaigns are sorted as In-Progress Campaigns or Closed Campaigns. Find the campaign you want to clone, and then click Manage
  3. Choose the campaign round you want to clone and select Scheduling & Delivery. Under Actions, click Clone Round. A new tab is created with the same name as the tab you cloned, plus "clone.." (e.g., Round 1 clone).
  4. Double-click the Round tab to edit the name, then click Save Campaign Changes.
  5.  Use the steps for creating a campaign at step 6 to set up the new campaign round.

Export and review campaign data

Export an overview of your campaign to track campaign data review the efficiency of your campaign methods.

  1. Go to Manage Documents > Campaigns, locate the campaign you want to view and then click Manage Campaign
  2. Click Export Overview Data to generate a CSV file with campaign information.
  3. When it's ready to download, click your name in the upper right and go to the Download Center to retrieve it.

Campaign overview data captures all relevant campaign information, including Customer Number, Customer Name, Exposure Completion Percentage, Exposure Zone, Exempt Reason, Request Status, Delivery Method, Status, and more.


Create a cover letter template

Include a cover letter when you request compliance documents so your recipient knows exactly what you're asking for. Create new cover letters and use template tags to automatically add your customer's information to the cover letter so you can send one letter to several customers at once.

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