In This Article:

    Autoresponses / Email Triggers

    In This Article:


      When to use it

      Autoresponses are email messages which are sent to your supporters automatically after a supporter completes an action on a Salsa form. A few examples of autoresponses in action:

      1. A supporter makes a donation and automatically receives a donation receipt
      2. A supporter registers for an event and automatically receives a confirmation with event details

      NOTE:  The Streaming Email tool is a separate, more advanced version of Autoresponses, but it is not suited to all situations and not all Salsa users have Streaming Emails installed on their account. Contact your account manager for details.

      How to get there

      There are two steps to using autoresponses:




      Autoresponse Configuration

      After you click Create Autoresponse, a new autoresponse will open.  The first step of the workflow is Configuration.


      1. Enter a Reference Name:

      As elsewhere in Salsa, Reference Name is entirely an internal name, invisible to the public. Use organized, specific titles such as 2013-January Donation Page: Cute Puppies Campaignto make sorting and location easier. 

      2. Select a Trigger Type

      There are three types: 

      • Reply Emails - go to the supporter immediately
      • Individual emails - go to one or more specific email address(es) immediately
      • Timed triggers - go to the supporter on a timed delay (i.e. 72 hours after the action was taken)

      3. Enter a From Name

      Format the name similar to how you would format it for an email blast.

      4. Enter a From Email

      Setting the From Email fields is very important - without a valid email address, the Autoresponse will appear to be from no one, and may be filtered by anti-spam programs. 

      5. Email Address (Individual Triggers only)

      Populate an Email Address field only for Individual Triggers. In that case, you'll need to specify who receives notification of the action. Separate multiple email addresses with a comma and no space, for example,

      For Reply and Timed triggers, the address will be automatically populated by Salsa so you should leave this field blank.


      Autoresponse Content

      Write the content of the automatic email.



      To identify available merge fields you have a few options:

      1. Review this handy guide to the most commonly used merge fields on Salsa forms.
      2. Use Append Available Values (see Autoresponse Advanced Options)
      3. View the source code of the user-facing Salsa page and identify the field names

      Donation Receipt

      Need a quick format for a donation receipt? Create a new autoresponse for your donation page and paste in the text below!

      Thank you for your donation of $[[amount]]!
      You can print this email as a record of your donation for your tax purposes.
      Donation Summary:
      Confirmation Code: [[PNREF]][[RPREF]]
      Donation Amount: $[[amount]]
      Donation Date: [[CURRENT_DATE]]
      Donation Made By: [[First_Name]] [[Last_Name]]
      [[Street]] [[Street_2]]
      [[City]] [[State]] [[Zip]]

      Autoresponse Advanced Options

      Note: This last step has some technical options which most users will ignore.

      Send Conditions

      The Send Condition field allows you to limit the trigger to sending only under specific conditions. If the send conditions evaluates to a true, then the Autoresponse email is sent. Otherwise, the Autoresponse is not sent.


      Example Send Conditions

      Condition Result
      [[isNew]] == 1 Send if the supporter is new
      "[[isNew]]"=="" Send if the supporter has an existing supporter record
      "[[State]]" == "FL" Send Autoresponse if the State field on the form is Florida
      "[[State]]" != "AR" Send the Autoresponse if the State field on the form in not Arkansas
      [[amount]] == 500 Send the Autoresponse if the donation amount is 500 dollars
      [[recurring_donation_KEY]] != -1 Send the Autoresponse if the donor made a recurring donation.
      [[recurring_donation_KEY]] == -1 Send the Autoresponse if the donor did not make a recurring donation (i.e. made a one-time donation)
      "[[State]]" == "FL" && "[[State]]" != "GA" && [[amount]] < 10000 Send the Autoresponse if the donor is from Florida, but not from Georgia, and the donation is less than $10,000
      [[BOOL5]] == 1 Send the Autoresponse if the "BOOL5" custom field is checked.
      [[recurring_donation_key]] != -1 || [[amount]] < 50 Send the Autoresponse if the donation is a recurring donation or the amount is less than $50.

      Writing your own send conditions

      Salsa uses a parser called JEP to evaluate the statement you enter. The syntax for a send condition may look a little unusual when you get started, but anyone can pick it up. A basic conditional statement consists of three parts:

      • A Salsa merge field generated by the page
      • An operator. These are the available operators.
        • Less<
        • Less or Equal<=
        • More>
        • More or Equal>=
        • Not Equal!=
        • Equal==
      • A fixed value
        • Values depend upon the merge field you've selected
        • Example values might be a state (FL) or a number (500)
        • If the fixed value is not a number, then it must be enclosed in quotation marks.

      Strung together, these elements produce a single condition. If the condition is true, then the Autoresponse will be sent. If the condition is false, then the Autoresponse will not be sent.

      More complicated conditions

      It's also possible to create a trigger limited by multiple conditions by connecting them with one of two special operators:

      • And&&
        • Both conditions must be true for the Autoresponse to send
      • Or||
        • Autoresponse will send if either condition is true

      For instance,[[amount]] > 100 && "[[State]]" == "FL"will send the condition only for Florida donors of more than $100.

      Tip: Here are some things to keep in mind as you create send conditions:

      • The send condition must evaluate to true or false.
      • The condition statement can be as long as you need it to be.
      • All of the merge fields are available -- you are not limited just to donations. Consult the list of common merge fields page for ideas.
      • Put spaces around any operators (==, !=, &&, ||, etc) to make the text easier to read.
      • All merge fields must be surrounded by quotation marks (For example:"[[Field_Name]]" .
      • Numeric fixed value fields do not need quotes (For example: 55 or .25 or 100).
      • Do not use commas in numeric fixed value fields (For example: do not use 10,000. Use 10000 instead.)
      • Text fixed value fields ("FL", "Texas", "Yes") must be quoted.

      Hours Delayed for Timed Trigger

      Only use this for the Timed Trigger-type Autoresponse.

      Reply triggers are sent immediately after an action is taken (i.e. immediately after a donor presses the Submit button on a donation form).  Use this field to configure the number of hours after an action is taken that an email should be sent.


      Append Available Values

      If this box is checked, the Autoresponse message will be appended with a dump of data fields available on the page. Its intended function is to deliver a list of potential merge fields to campaign managers in the process of configuring a message.  If you can't find the merge fields you want on the list of common merge fields:

      1. Click this checkbox
      2. Send the autoresponse to yourself by completing a test action
      3. Copy the merge fields you indend to use into the autoresponse content

      NOTE: Un-check this box before adding this Autoresponse to a live page.

      Recurring Donation Autoresponses

      Donation autoresponse emails are triggered by the clicking of the submit button on the donation page.  There is not a feature that will send an autoresponse email each time a recurring transaction is processed after the initial submission.

      You may be able to reach out to your gateway processor and ask if it's possible to set up a notification email through their system each time a recurring payment is processed.

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      • I'm trying to set up triggers so that my development team receives an email whenever someone submits a donation over a certain amount. Using merge fields, I was able to create the email I wanted them to receive, but I got these warnings:

        Merge field amount is not supported

        Merge field donate_page_KEY is not supported

        Merge field donation_KEY is not supported

        Individual Emails are not a supported type for statistics

        How is it possible that these aren't available?!

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      • P.S. I know those fields are sent on submit, since when I turn on the "append form values", all of that information comes through.

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      • If you are seeing these messages in a green box at the top of the screen, then the message is not an error.  Salsa supports two kinds of autoresponses, standard autoresponses and streaming emails.  When you create an autoresponse, Salsa automatically checks the content to see if it can be created to a streaming email.  If the autoresponse can't be created, then you'll see those messages at the top of the screen.

        In most cases this is not A Big Thing, and you can use the standard autoresponse without a problem.

        If you are seeing messages that are not in a green area, then that's the time to send support a message and get some help.  The same goes for further questions.  Please address those to

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      • Typo!  Sorry!  Please read "If the autoresponse can't be created" as "If the streaming email can't be created".  Thanks!

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      • I would still appreciate a response to my question from 4/15/14.  Thanks!

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      • Hi, Kerri!

        Thank you for the reminder.  The scope of the answer will be a bit larger than space allows, so I'm opening a new service ticket.  Please look for that in your inbox a bit later today.  Cheers!


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      • Hey Nicholas,


        In answer to your long-standing question... that send condition is possible (excluding by supporter key) and your formatting is correct as well.  The send condition you've indicated ([[supporter_KEY]] !=*XXX*) would exclude that particular supporter.

        My apologies for the delay!

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      • Is there a way to track engagement of auto-response emails? So, for example, if I have an auto-reponse set up to email new supporters 24 hours after they come on file, thanking them for their support and asking them to take some kind of action (read a story, take a survey, etc.), can I pull a report to see how many people opened, clicked, etc?

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      • Hi Brenda,

        Auto-responses don't have the functionality you're requesting, but if, you ask our Support team to install the free streaming email package, you can convert your auto-responses to streaming emails.  Streaming emails DO have this functionality.  Read more about streaming emails and request the package to get started.

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      • How can I send a test autoresponse email to myself?

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      • I wish someone would answer Fredrick's question.

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      • Hello, Frederick!

        Yes, you can send an autoresponse to yourself or to members of your staff.  Do this by

        • changing the Type from "Reply Email" to "Individual Email"
        • filling in one or more email addresses into the "Target Email" field

        Please send us a message on if you have any questions.



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      • I have created an autoresponse Thank You email which is sent when donors make a donation.  How can I see whether or not this email has been sent.  It does not appear to show up in last contact information in the donor record...that seems reserved for email blasts.  My metric shows "no statistics available" is there a way to get this information.  Thank you.

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      • Can I add any style sheets/ templates to Auto Responder emails?

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      • Hi, Bonnie!

        Probably the best way to track autoresponses will be to have them converted to streaming emails. There are some restrictions, so please send us mail on, and we'll be glad to help you with the details.




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      • Hi, Jason,

        Sorry, but stylesheets are not valid in email blasts.  I did a quick look on the web for email best practices, and found that The Big Email Vendors strip out stylesheets, and often ignore fancy div-tag based structures. Salsa has documented best practices for email here that you might find helpful.  If you have other questions, please send them to



        Salsa Support

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      • Hi,

        I'm back with a similar question Is it possible to create an individual email to a staff member with a send trigger that would notify them when and individual signs up to a particular optional (non-greedy smart group) on our sign in page?

        Would a send condition like something below work?

        if (groups ['125973'] ! == 1) && [[isNew]] == 1



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      • Hi, Lisa!

        Unfortunately, there's not a way to do that with the triggers in an autoresponse.  However, if you make the group a greedy smart group, then there's a way to assign a message that's triggered when someone is added to the group.  You can learn more about groups and smart groups by clicking here.  If you have questions after perusing the doc, please send those to, and we'll be glad to help out.




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      • Will the [[isNew]] condition still work if I delay the trigger?

        For instance, if I want only newly added supporters to get an email 5 hours after the page is submitted, will it work to put [[isNew]]=1 and a timed trigger delay of 5 hours. Or is 5 hours too "old" for a record to be considered "new"? What about 5 days?



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      • Hi!  Is it possible to have a send condition that suppresses an autoresponse if someone has participated in a particular advocacy action?  

        I'm putting together a welcome email series. I want to have one of the emails in the series ask new supporters to take one of our current actions.  But if a new supporter signed up through that action, I want to suppress that email in the series for them. 

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      • Hi, Beth,

        The answer to this question is complex and will require information from your Salsa HQ to answer.  I'm opening a new ticket so that our email blast specialist can help out.  Please look for that ticket in your inbox shortly.



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