You can use placeholders throughout Senta to automatically fill in personalised details when sending emails, notifications and text messages.

So instead of having to send individual messages, you can send customised messages as part of an automatic Job or a bulk email, like this: 

Dear {to.firstname}, 

This makes it really easy to deliver a very personalised service to your clients, with very little effort on your part. 

Placeholder formatting

All placeholders in Senta use the format {placeholder.fieldreference} .

The first part, listed as "placeholder" in the example above, will vary depending on where the field reference is being pulled from:

- If the placeholder is pulling from a client field, the format will be {client.fieldreference}.

- If the placeholder is pulling from a form that is filled is as part of a job, the format will be {job.fieldreference}.

This is explained in more detail in the sections below.

The second part, listed as "fieldreference" in the example above, will pull from the field reference part of a field on a form. You can view this for any field by going to Settings > Forms, and then choosing the specific form.

So in the image above, the format would be {client.dateofbirth} . You can set your own field references when creating fields, or you can change the field references for any existing fields in Senta.

To test any function in Senta, you can use the expression tester.

Where you can use placeholders

You can use placeholders in:

  • Emails set up as part of a job
  • Notifications set up in a job
  • Text messages (SMS) set up as part of a job
  • Bulk emails you send via the client lists 

You can also use placeholders to alter jobs and tasks: 

  • Task descriptions 
  • Task titles 
  • Job titles 

Placeholders you can use

You can use many placeholders; below are some examples of commonly used placeholders: 

From the 'contacts' tab:




From the 'client' tabs:



From the sender for emails/text messages:





From forms filled in as part of jobs:


For letters or emails, you might like to use the today placeholder: 


      {today | D MMMM YYYY}

For emails to your clients about documents, tasks, etc, there is also the following special placeholder that will show the aggregated number of items that are waiting.


Finding the field reference 

To find out the field reference for a field, just go to Settings > Forms and click on the form where the field is. You will find the field reference shown against the field. 

To find out the field reference for a key date, go to Settings > Jobs and click on the Job in question. You will find a field reference against each key date that is set up.

Fallback placeholders

You can use "fallback" placeholders, for example {to.nickname/to.firstname} will use the first value if it's available, or the second one if not.

Fallback placeholders can be used in chains, e.g. {to.nickname/to.firstname/to.somethingelse} .

You can also use put "literal" placeholders in using quotation marks e.g. {to.nickname/to.firstname/"Esteemed customer"} .

Client fields 

You can also use any field from the CRM as a placeholder. This means any field on any form! 

For example: 




This gives you a great deal of flexibility to personalise messages from Senta. 

You can also use this for information that has been entered when setting clients up with Services, e.g. during VAT setup or payroll setup. If it's visible on the client tabs, then you use 


Key dates and other job fields 

If you define a key date in a job, you can use the name of the key date as a placeholder. For example, suppose you have a VAT job and in the job you define a key date "VAT return due" and you give it a field reference of "vatreturndue". 

You can then use that as a placeholder: 


This means that you can produce very clear messages that refer to specific deadlines, e.g. tax payment dates and so on: 

You must submit your return by {job.vatreturndue} 

You can also use form fields from jobs too. 

So, for example, if you have a repeating job that asks you to fill in a form, you can use values from the form in your emails. You can refer to the field by its internal field name as a placeholder like this: 

The amount you need to pay is {job.payeamount}

Please remember however, for data that you've previously captured, i.e. not in this job, then you need to refer to it using the format {client. 

Your payroll reference is {client.accountsofficereference}

Placeholders from Companies House data

If you have a Company number entered on the Companies House tab of a client record, information will be synchronised from Companies House and displayed on that tab. 

You can use the following placeholders to refer to this information:

Company details












Address details






Accounts details









Confirmation statement details





Write with any of the following placeholders as a suffix to generate the corresponding URL for that client:

Company Overview:


Filing History:




Persons with significant control:


Formatting placeholders

You can change the way placeholders are displayed by adding special formatting codes to the placeholders, like this: 

{client.address1 | optional} = This placeholder is optional and there won't be an error if it doesn't exist 

{client.address1 | newline} = This placeholder might be blank. If it's not, put a newline after it. 

This is very handy for addresses: 

{client.address1 | newline}{client.address2 | newline}{client.address3 | newline}{client.address4 | newline} 

This would output as many lines of address as there are, with each on a new line. 

Date formatting

Dates have an extra special feature available in email bodies -- you can output them in different formats when you use them, like this:

{client.mydate | DD/MM/YYYY} 

Using the | character, followed by a date format code, tells Senta to format the date in a particular way: 

For 1st February 2019

{client.mydate | D} = 1 

{client.mydate | DD} = 01 

{client.mydate | Do} = 1st

{client.mydate | dd} = We

{client.mydate | ddd} = Wed

{client.mydate | dddd} = Wednesday

{client.mydate | MM} = 02

{client.mydate | Mo} = 2nd

{client.mydate | MMM } = Feb 

{client.mydate | MMMM } = February 

{client.mydate | YY} = 19

{client.mydate | YYYY} = 2019

{client.mydate | YY-YY} = 18-19

{client.mydate | YYYY-YY} = 2018-19

{client.mydate | YY/YY} = 18/19

{client.mydate | D/M} = 1/2

{client.mydate | DD/MM} = 01/02

{client.mydate | DD-MM-YY} = 01-02-19 

{client.mydate | D MMMM YYYY} = 1 February 2019

{client.mydate | w} = 5 (n.b. this is a week number)

{client.mydate | wo} = 5th

{client.mydate | Q} = 1 (n.b. this is a quarter number)

{client.mydate | Qo} = 1st

Warning: Senta does not currently support using date offsets within placeholders e.g. {}.

Arithmetic in placeholders

You can perform arithmetic in placeholders too.  For example: 

    {(client.monthlyFees * 12) + client.annualFees}

Functions in placeholders

One of the most powerful features of placeholders is support for Excel-like functions, e.g. IF and FIXED.  You can use functions to perform powerful operations in your placeholders.  

For example, some notification email placeholders use a syntax which means that the wording of the email can vary depending on e.g. how many tasks have been assigned to the client.

You can find out more about functions on the functions page


If you assign 1 task to a client, they will receive an email with the subject line "1 new task has been assigned to you..."

If you assign 3 tasks to a client before sending the notification email from your outbox, they will receive an email with the subject line "3 new tasks have been assigned to you..."

This uses the IF function, in much the same way that Excel does, using the format

    {if(clause, option1, option2)}

If "clause" is true, option1 will be used. If not, option2 will be used.

So in the email below:

    {count} new task {if(count>1, "s")} {if(count=1, "has","have")} been assigned to you


    1 new task has been assigned to you...

    3 new tasks have been assigned to you...