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  • 2012/07/08

Custom Autoresponders

Custom autoresponders allow you to send out e-mails at specified times. Autoresponders can use the criteria system to filter out who will receive the outgoing e-mail. This allows you to create "followup campaigns".

Creating a Custom Autoresponder

To create a custom autoresponder, from the admin control panel:

  1. Click on "E-Mailing » Autoresponders » New"
  2. Input your desired settings (see section below)
  3. Click on "Add Scheduled Email"

Settings

SettingDescription
TrackbackIf you select this option, the program will track when the user had read the email. Click here for more information.
SaveSaves a copy of each e-mail sent by the program. So if this targeted e-mail reaches 8,000 users, 8,000 copies of the e-mail will be placed in the database. This is a requirement due to the trackback system
Send Based OnThis is the most important setting on the page. It determines how the program will calculate when to send this e-mail. Your options are:

Before Expiration:
Users matching the Criteria will receive this e-mail "x" Timeframe before his/her account expires.

After Expiration:
Users matching the Criteria will receive this e-mail "x" Timeframe after his/her account expires.

After Join Date:
Users matching the Criteria will receive this e-mail "x" Timeframe after his/her account was created.

On Exact Date:
Users matching the Criteria will receive this e-mail on the exact date specified in the Date to Send setting.
Timeframe
CriteriaExclude current users from this scheduled e-mail (only users/leads joining after today will receive this e-mail).
Do NOT exclude any users currently in the database (current users will receive this e-mail as well as future users).

Designing Campaigns

In order to design effective autoresponder campaigns, you'll first need to establish logical groupings of users who will be receiving the series of emails. This can be done through user groupings, protected folders, or even custom fields. A practical guide has been created to explain the effective use of these to establish criteria-based e-mails, which we recommend you read.

Once you have established who will receive a series of emails, you need to ensure that all emails within the campaign use the same criteria, with the only exception being the timeframe for when each e-mail is sent. Doing this ensures that the same users will receive the chain of emails, one-by-one.

Common Issues

Autoresponders are not sending out on time

Custom autoresponders are sent by your cron job. By default, the cron job is set to send out every hour. So if the timeframe for your autoresponder is set up for anything less than 1 hour, there is no guarantee that your e-mail will sent out on time. The solution is either to set your autoresponder's timeframe to be 1 hour or more, or to run your cron job more than once per hour.[1]

Users aren't receiving the autoresponder

This is almost always due to your criteria not being established the way you think it is. Please check your criteria and ensure that the user who isn't receiving the autoresponder matches the email's criteria.

  1. We do not recommend running your cron job more than every half hour.