To create a workflow where a message is sent using HTML, begin on the Workflows page and select the Add Workflow button.  In the resulting form, enter
Name for the workflow.
For Type choose MessageThread.  
Leave the Template as Standard Alert.  
Save Changes.

We now have fields for Start Conditions and Actions.  Add a Start Condition, for this example we will send a message when the alert is opened.  In the dropdown for Name, select MessageThreadStatusType:

Select Open as the Value and press the green checkmark:

Under Actions, press Add Action, then select SendMessage, this will produce a dialog box:

Select (or create) a Escalation Rule to govern the routing of the update message, then choose the recipient with either the pre-defined selections or enter the user or group manually.  For instance, “Send To Original Recipients” will deliver to each User who was initially notified of the alert.  Users or Groups not in the original thread (such as a Managers group) may be designated in the fields below.  You may make multiple selections and entries.

Note: Care should be taken when selecting contact methods in the Escalation Rule, as systems such as Phone or SMS may not present HTML as expected.  Always test before going live.

In the Message Text box, you can craft the body of the message using HTML and keywords from the list.  Save the changes to the Action, and this will update the Workflow.  Finally, ensure the new Workflow is Enabled (select the button in the top right corner of the page).

To add the Workflow to the Escalation Rule, select Escalation Rules from the menu, choose your Escalation Rule and select the Workflows tab:

Note that the Escalation Rule for the Action must be independent of the Escalation Rule this Workflow is applied to (e.g. This Workflow cannot be applied to the “Message on Alert Creation” rule, as that rule was chosen to govern the delivery of the update within the Workflow).  Any Escalation Rule already used in a Workflow cannot have additional Workflows applied, and the Add Workflow button will be greyed out.

Press the Add Workflow button.  In the resulting dialog, select your Workflow (it must be enabled to be present here) and press the arrow button to move it to the Selected Workflows list: 

Press Update and the new Workflow is added to the Escalation Rule and saved.

Here is an example of the original email message of a simple alert before the workflow is applied:

Then, the message sent to the Managers Group by the workflow:

HTML offers considerable formatting options to improve readability, and when combined with static and dynamic fields messages can deliver more detail in a useful fashion.

Note: In this example, the Escalation Rule used in the Workflow was modified to remove the action buttons on the message to the Managers.

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