Auto Responders

Auto Responders

Auto Responders

Introduction

Auto responder is a great feature to get engaged with your audience almost instantly when a specific event occurs. Unlike email marketing campaigns, auto responders are very targeted and it’s sent at the right time to the right person.

For example, sending an onboarding email series to your new user is a great example of auto responder usage. When someone signs up to your service, you can send a training email series to your new user for the next 14 days.

In addition to the general use case of auto responders, Octeth includes powerful auto responder add-ons which will differentiate your email marketing operation from your competitors.

You can setup both regular time sequential auto responders and repeating auto responders for your audience. In this article, you will learn all details of these two auto responder types that you can leverage on your business.

You can see how regular and repeating auto responders are executed in Octeth.
You can see how regular and repeating auto responders are executed in Octeth.

Auto Responder Events

Before proceeding with auto responder management in Octeth, let’s check what events can be used to trigger auto responders in Octeth:

Subscriber events that can trigger an auto responder.
Subscriber events that can trigger an auto responder.

Subscription

You can trigger an auto responder when someone subscribers to one of your subscriber lists. For example, when someone signs-up to your trial plan on your website, you can subscribe this new user to the “Trial Users” subscriber list and trigger auto responder for the new user.

Email open

You can trigger an auto responder when someone opens an email campaign or autoresponder you have previously sent. In order to execute this trigger, you must send an HTML email to that person first.

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Email open detection is done by inserting a transparent 1x1 image into outgoing HTML emails. If the recipient doesn’t load images inside the HTML email or the email application blocks images (ex: Apple iOS Mail Privacy Protection feature), email open will not be detected or it will not be accurate.

Link click

You can trigger an auto responder when someone clicks a specific link in an email campaign or autoresponder you have previously sent.

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Link click detection is only available for HTML emails.

Conversion

If you have done s2s postback integration with your third-party conversion tracking system, you can trigger autoresponders when someone completes a conversion funnel on your website.

Date

You can trigger an autoresponder to be sent on specific date periods such as birthdays, anniversaries, trial expires, membership renewals, etc.

Time Sequential Auto Responders

Time sequential auto responders are regular auto responders which are triggered with a specific event occurrence.

Below, you can see an example time sequential auto responder setup:

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A very good example to time sequential auto responders is running a sales funnel on your website. Let’s say you have a sales funnel with top of the funnel (ToFu), middle of the funnel (MiFu) and bottom of the funell (BoFu). For each funnel phase, you can run a setup of different auto responders. To do this, you simply need to create three different mail lists:

  • “ToFu” List → Cold leads
  • “MiFu” List → Warmed leads
  • “BoFu” List → Prospects ready to convert

Inside each list, you need to setup your time sequential auto responders:

  • “ToFu” List → Cold leads
    • Auto Responder Trigger Event: Subscription

      Purpose: Qualify the lead

    • Auto Responder #1: Send immediately
    • Auto Responder #2: Send 1 day later
    • Auto Responder #3: Send 2 days later
    • Auto Responder #4: Send 3 days later
    • Auto Responder #5: Send 5 days later
  • “MiFu” List → Warmed leads
    • Auto Responder Trigger Event: Link Click in previous “ToFu” auto responders

      Purpose: Train the lead

    • Auto Responder #1: Send immediately
    • Auto Responder #2: Send 1 day later
    • Auto Responder #3: Send 2 days later
    • Auto Responder #4: Send 3 days later
    • Auto Responder #5: Send 4 days later
  • “BoFu” List → Prospects ready to convert
    • Auto Responder Trigger Event: Link Click in previous “MiFu” auto responders

      Purpose: Convert the lead

    • Auto Responder #1: Send immediately
    • Auto Responder #2: Send 1 day later
    • Auto Responder #3: Send 2 days later
    • Auto Responder #4: Send 3 days later
    • Auto Responder #5: Send 4 days later

As you can see in the above example, you can setup unlimited amount of time time sequential auto responders in multiple lists.

Create a Time Sequential Auto Responder

In the user area, go to [Lists → List Dashboard] and click “Auto Responders” on the left menu:

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Click “Create” link on the auto responder list toolbar.

The first step is to give a name to your auto responder, choose the event, and time interval and repeat settings.

Creating a new auto responder
Creating a new auto responder

The name of the auto responder is only for administrative purposes. It’s not publicly displayed to your subscribers.

The trigger event can be any of these;

  • Subscription
  • Link click
  • Campaign open
  • Campaign conversion
  • Forward to friend → To be discarded soon
  • Date information

Once you choose the trigger event, the next step is to set the execution time interval. After how many seconds/minutes/hours/days since the event occurrence, this auto responder should be executed?

For example, if you choose “Subscription” as the event and “15 minutes later”, the auto responder will be triggered 15 minutes after the subscription event occurs for a subscriber.

Keep “Repeat For” setting “Disabled” for time based sequential auto responders. We will learn more about repeating settings in the next section.

Once you click “Create Autoresponder and Edit Email” button, your autoresponder will be creating and you will be redirected to the email builder.

You have many options for creating your email content:

Octeth gives you various options for creating emails.
Octeth gives you various options for creating emails.

If you have enabled Stripo.email email builder integration in the [Admin Area → Settings → Integrations] section, you will have an option to create your email using Stripo drag-n-drop email builder inside Octeth. In addition to Stripo.email drag-n-drop editor integration, you can also enable Unlayer.com drag-n-drop email builder integration in the administrator area.

Another option is “HTML code editor” where you can code your HTML email using the full-featured code editor or you can simply copy&paste your HTML content copied from a third party source.

“Rich text editor” is very similar to Word editor and it gives you ability to create rich text HTML content for your autoresponders.

“Template Gallery” feature will be discarded soon and it’s going to be replaced with Stripo.email drag-n-drop email builder template feature.

“Fetch URL” gives you ability to import your email content from a remote content source which is publicly accessible on a URL. For example, if you are creating your email content on your CMS solution (ex: WordPress) and you want to use it as content source, you can do this by choosing this option.

Let’s choose “Drag-n-drop email builder (Stripo)” option for this article and proceed with creating your email content.

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In order to use Stripo.email drag-n-drop email builder in Octeth, you must activate the integration in the administrator area and get your Stripo API key from your stripo.email account. As of writing this article, it’s free of charge to get your Stripo API key.

Please refer to this article to learn more about activating your Stripo or Unlayer drag-n-drop email builder features.

Once you choose the “Drag-n-drop email builder (Stripo)” option, you will be redirected to the email content step:

The first step of creating your email content
The first step of creating your email content

Email content creation process is a three-steps process. In the first step, you define the sender information and pre-header text.

The name and email address you set here are added into outgoing emails in “From:” email header.

If you uncheck “Reply-To” checkbox, you will have ability to set a different “Reply-To:” email header for your outgoing emails.

Pre-header text is optional but highly recommended. You simply insert a text snippet next to your email subject which is visible on email browse screen of major ISP’s including Gmail.

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If you have enabled “Enforced list sender information” feature in the [Admin Area → Settings → Delivery Server Settings], you may not be able to set a custom sender information on this setup. This is expected behavour and Octeth will use the subscriber list sender information.

The second step of creating your email content
The second step of creating your email content

In the second step, you simply create your email content. The first thing you need to decide is what kind of email you would like to send. It can be any of these;

  • HTML only email
  • This option will let you to create and send an HTML only email. You can create fancy HTML emails with different fonts, font sizes, colors, images, etc.

  • Plain text only email
  • This option will let you to send a plain text email. You cannot change the font, add color or images into your emails.

  • Both HTML and plain text email
  • This option will let you to send you a “multipart” email which means the email will contain both HTML and plain text version and the correct content will be displayed to the recipient based on the email client preference.

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Email activity tracking (opens and clicks) is only possible for HTML emails. Plain text emails cannot be tracked due to the limits of plain text.

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For the highest deliverability rate, we strongly recommend you to create emails with both HTML and plain content versions. Please don’t forget to make both contents similar to each other.

After choosing the email content type, the next step is to set your emails subject. When writing your email subject, you can personalize it by using merge tags (a.k.a personalization tags). Once you click on the subject field, the merge tag list will be displayed at the bottom:

Email subject personalization
Email subject personalization
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Please refer to this article to learn more about content personalization with subscriber attributes, random characters, dates, content spinning and many other options.

Once you write the email subject line, the next is to open the Stripo powered drag-n-drop email builder. To do this, click “Open Email Content Builder” button. This will open the email builder inside Octeth:

Stripo.email
Stripo.email powered drag-n-drop email builder

You can drag-n-drop email content blocks from the left side to your email content on the right side and create beautiful HTML emails in minutes. These emails will be 100% mobile friendly emails. Once you are done with email content creation, click “Close Editor” button on the top right corner and close the email builder.

You will return to the step 2 screen. If you want to attach a file to your email, you can do it by clicking “Choose file” button.

Once you are done with step 2, click “Next” button and proceed to the next (and last) step.

Step 3 is all about reviewing your email content. Octeth gives you several options for email reviewing:

  • Send a copy of the email to your email address
  • View it on your web browser
  • Email content analysis
  • SpamAssassin powered spam filter test

Once you are done with email review and it’s ready for delivery, click “Next” button. You will return to the auto responder list page.

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Repeat auto responder create process as many as you need to make sure you have properly setup your time sequential auto responder series for your target audience.

That’s it. Now, whenever specific events that you have set in your auto responders occur, corresponding auto responders will trigger on chosen time intervals.

Repeating Auto Responders

Unlike time sequential auto responders, repeating auto responders are executed at regular intervals repeatedly. In this way, you don’t have to setup and maintain multiple auto responders for your subscriber lists.

You simply create a single auto responder with repeating feature enabled and it runs repeatedly at certain time intervals.
You simply create a single auto responder with repeating feature enabled and it runs repeatedly at certain time intervals.

Repeating auto responders are very useful and it’s a time saving feature when you combine it with “Remote Content” personalization tags.

In order to activate repeating feature for an auto responder, simply enable “Repeat For” section as shown below:

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After setting up the repeating settings, simply proceed to the email creation step just like you do with regular auto responders.

Once a repeating auto responder is created and activated for an event (such as subscription), Octeth will handle the auto responder delivery at defined time intervals without any interaction from your end.

You can combine this powerful feature with content spinning and remote content fetching features to send unique emails at regular time intervals without any manual work.

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