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Use Autoresponders

An autoresponder is a simple yet effective email marketing tool that allows you to send a series of scheduled follow-up emails to your shoppers; based on specific parameters you set within your store.

For example, you may need to send a follow-up email to all of your shoppers who have purchased a specific item.  Perhaps the follow-up email is a special coupon you'd like to send to these shoppers, or maybe you'd like to notify them of related products and accessories which would go nicely with their purchase.  There are many situations to which an auto-responder may be applied, and now with, Shift4Shop version 3.3, you can make this a reality.

Autoresponders are made up of two separate components that work in unison.

  • Autoresponder
    An automated email marketing campaign (or campaigns) that contains a series of messages which are sent to your shoppers; when specific actions are triggered on their orders

  • Automation Rules
    A series of situational triggers and actions you specify will determine when autoresponder messages are applicable.

This guide will show you how to set up your autoresponder settings, along with a brief introduction to automation rules. Keep in mind, however, that the "Automation Rules" component is a feature in its own right.  We also have documentation describing Automation Rules in more detail. However, for the purposes of this document, we will only be covering its relationship with Autoresponder.

First, let's go over enabling the Autoresponder module.

Enabling Autoresponders

To use Autoresponders, you will first need to enable the module within your Shift4Shop store.

From your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager, use the left navigation menu and:

  1. Go to Modules.

  2. Search for the "Autoresponder" module and click its + icon to expand the selection.

3. Mark the "Enable Autoresponder" checkbox and click Save at the top right.

Now that the Autoresponder function is enabled, we'll need to describe a few additional settings. Once again, go to the Autoresponder module and click its +Icon if it isn't already expanded.

This time, to the right of the "Enable" checkbox, click on the link labeled Change Settings.

You will see the following options:

  • Enable Autoresponder
    Mark this checkbox to enable the function

  • Enable Google Analytics Tracking
    If you use Google Analytics, this setting will add your Google Analytics tracking codes to the automated emails, so you can track the number of users who receive and ultimately click through to your store.

  • Max Number of Campaigns
    This is the limit of campaigns that can be created on your account

  • Max Emails per Campaign
    This reflects the limit of emails you can specify per campaign on your account.

Now that the Autoresponder functionality is turned on and set up let's set up a campaign.

Setting up an Autoresponder Campaign

The first aspect you need to create for your autoresponder is the Campaign. Your autoresponder campaign will contain all your automated emails that will be sent when their respective actions are triggered.

From your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager, use the left navigation menu and:

  1. Go to Modules.

  2. Search for the "Autoresponder" module and click its + icon to expand the selection.

3. Look for the "Autoresponder Campaigns" label and click on its Change Settings link.

This is the page where you will create your campaigns and the emails that will be sent with each campaign.

4. Once there, click on the +Add Autoresponder button at the top right.

5. Name your campaign.

6. Click Add.

Up next, we'll describe how to add the actual emails that will be sent through a campaign

Adding an Autoresponder Email Message

After clicking on Add in step 6 above, you'll be taken to a page where you can enter the individual email messages that will apply to this new campaign.

7. Click on +Add Email at the top right to create your first Autoresponder message

8. You will then enter the specifics of your autoresponder message. (See Additional Note*)

9. Click Save when complete.

After saving your first autoresponder campaign message, you will be taken to a listing of your campaign's autoresponder messages.  From here, you can add new messages to the campaign, edit existing messages, or otherwise view the log information on individual messages.

Autoresponder Log

When viewing your list of autoresponder messages, you will have a button at the top right labeled Log.  This button allows you to view a running log of messages that have been sent out, as well as which have been opened and read by the recipient.

Autoresponder Campaign Queues

When viewing your individual campaigns, you will also see a button labeled "Queue."

This button allows you to view the progress of the campaign for your individual recipients.  For example, if your campaign contains three separate messages which are sent out to your shoppers, you can view the queue to see where in the progression those individual customers are.  Once their individual counter reaches 0, the campaign is complete for them.

Automation Rules

As mentioned at the beginning of this document, the second component of the Autoresponder service is the rules you specify in your store's Automation Rules section.

These rules will essentially be the triggers that initiate your individual autoresponder campaigns.

From your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager:

  1. Go to Modules.

  2. Look for "Autoresponder" and click on its + icon to expand the module.

  3. Within the module, you will see "Automation Rules."

  4. Look to the right of "Automation Rules" and click on the Change Settings link.

  5. Next, click on +Add Rule at the top right and provide a name for your rule.

  6. Then click Save.

After clicking Save, you will be taken to the Automation Rule you've just created so you may begin specifying its parameters.

  1. Specify your automation rule settings as needed, followed by your automation tasks. (See *Additional Information.)

  2. Then click Save.

  3. When complete, be sure to ENABLE the Automation Rule by clicking the provided link.

It is important to NOT create an Automation Rule/Task to an Autoresponder Campaign until the campaign is created, populated with email messages, and ready for use.

For more information on the Automation Rules function, please review the Automation Rules Guide.