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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 have a 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 different 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 which 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 as well.  We also have documentation describing Automation Rules in more detail. However, for the purposes of this guide, we will only be covering its relationship with Autoresponder.

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

Enabling Autoresponders
In order 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 amount 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 Campaigns
    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 of 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.

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

  2. Name your campaign.

  3. 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 3 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 are 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.

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

8. Then click Save.

9. 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.

*Additional Information

Automation Rules Settings

When creating your Automation Rules, you will have the following settings available.  This section will contain two specific portions; Automation Rules & Automation Tasks. 

Your available settings are:

  • Automation Rules 
    These will be the parameters the order must meet in order to apply for the automation.

    • Rule Name
      This is the specific name of your rule. You may change it as needed.
      Automation Rules
      The first half of this page will contain the actual Rules you need to specify. Orders must meet the requirements set in this section in order to trigger the tasks specified in the second half.

    • Order Status
      Select which order status triggers your rule. When the order is actively moved to this status, the rule will initiate. 

  • Customer Group
    When an order is placed by a member of this customer group, the automation will be triggered.

  • Payment Method
    Select the payment method that you would like to specify for the trigger.

  • Shipping Method
    When an order is placed using the shipping method selected here, the automation will be triggered.

  • Distributor
    If the order includes products from a specific distributor selected in this drop-down, the automation will trigger.

  • Order Amount (min. max.)
    Orders within this range will initiate automation.

  • Applies if Products from these Categories are in the Basket
    Use the "+Add" and "Remove" buttons to select categories that contain products that will trigger the automation. If the products are present in the shopper's cart, then the automation will be applicable to the order.

  • Products
    Here you can select up to five items that - when purchased - will trigger the automation task.

  • Automation Tasks
    These will be the individual actions that will get applied to the orders when the rules are met.

    • Product
      Orders placed for this item will be set for automation.

    • Add Email to Autoresponder
      Orders meeting the above rules will have their email addresses added to this autoresponder.

    • Assign to Customer Group
      Users placing orders that meet the above rules will have their accounts moved to this task's customer group.

    • Flag Order
      Orders meeting the above rules will be flagged with a specific color in the Shift4Shop order manager.