There are three methods of automation available in Acoustic Campaign:
- Autoresponder – a basic automation solution for event-triggered email campaigns. The message is sent immediately after a contact performs a specific action.
- Automated message group – a more customizable automation solution with multiple triggers and contact source options.
- Programs – a highly customizable automation suite for more complex communication schemes.
In some situations, any of these three methods might fit a scenario.
Autoresponder and opt-in
Add an autoresponder when you edit an email template – click Automate and choose a trigger event.
Note: Automated messages and email autoresponders use the copy of your email template as it is at the time of email creation. As a result, edits made to existing emails are not recognized in automated messages or email autoresponders.
It's important to note that the moment a contact is added to the database by an opt-in action, the email instantly triggers. If you want to send only an autoresponder to a contact under specific circumstances (such as a specific behavior or they have a specific field value), then you should go for an automated message group or program.
Automated message groups and opt-in
A group of automated messages is a series of emails that can be set or triggered by an event and provides the same basic information to any qualified customer, such as:
- A date (like birthdays, anniversaries, a product release date, or contract renewal)
- An opt-in (e.g. when someone signs up for promotional emails)
- A recurring event (like a monthly reminder or newsletter)
You can also send automated emails that are not based on a single trigger but individually scheduled for selected days.
With automated messages, you can:
- Create groups of automated messages
- Assign emails to an automated message
- Edit a recurring email schedule
- Copy, reschedule, or cancel an automated email
- View sent automated messages
Automated messages are good for sending emails at a specific time of the day while programs are better for responding to a contact's behavior.
Unlike other automated emails that use an opt-in trigger, automated message group emails do not use the Submit action as a trigger. Instead, they use the recipient's opt-in date or other triggers to schedule emails that are assigned to the automated message group.
You want to send a birthday discount to customers who participate in your loyalty program.
- Create a query from your database with a rule that uses a custom date field, in this case – birthday.
- Go to Automation > Automated message groups in the Campaign menu and click the Create button on the View groups of automated messages page.
- Type in the name of your group, add notes (optional).
- Click the Contact source button and select the query you created in the beginning.
- From Event trigger options, choose Custom date and select Birthday in the dropdown menu.
- Add Completion date if you want the automation to run for a specific time.
Note: The program will stop at midnight of the day you set up as a completion date, e.g. if set to 09/05/2021, the last message will go out on 09/04/2021.
- Click the Save draft button if you want to edit the group in the future. If you want to run the automation right away without further edits, click Save & activate. You can activate your saved draft from the View groups of automated messages page by choosing the group from the Drafts tab and clicking the Activate button.
- Go to Email > Email campaigns in the Campaign menu and click the New email button to create the message you want to assign to the group or click one of the existing messages.
- After you are done editing your email, click the Automate button.
- Check Assign email to an existing group of automated messages: and choose your automated message group from the dropdown menu. In the Group event trigger section, leave 0 days after as the start date and select the time your subscribers are most likely to open the email. If you are not sure about the best possible time to send the email, select Use Send Time Optimization (STO).
- In the Upon assignment, save email as section, choose Active if your automated message groups has been activated or Pending if it is still a draft. Make sure you activate the group before activating the email.
- Click Submit.
Programs are powerful tools to create simplified or complex programs, which can be connected to each other.
You have multiple web forms connected to one database. You would like to send a welcome (thank you) email almost immediately after contact signs up, but the communications need to be different for each web form because they are connected with multiple business lines. You can use the event-based program entry criteria to pull in contact the moment a specific web form is completed.
- By using the Add contacts when the following events occur program event entry criteria, a contact is pulled into the program immediately. You can then set the email to wait 0 days, which would result in a much more targeted and relevant welcome email or series of emails.
- The criteria might be set to Has filled in web form XYZ, redirect to XYZ, etc.
Auto-forwarding and reporting
If you send an email from Campaign to a recipient who is auto-forwarding their messages to another email address (or if that recipient manually forwards the message to a number of other email addresses or distro list), all behaviors will be attributed to the original recipient targeted.
This is because when we send a mailing, we tag that mailing with a unique identity to tie it to a specific recipient. If that recipient forwards the email from their mailbox, then all interactions with that mailing are tied to that original recipient (In reporting the client would see a high gross count). So, if a message is auto-forwarded from one mailbox to another, the event behaviors would all be attributed to the original recipient.