In This Article:

    Autoresponses / Email Triggers

    In This Article:

      Overview

      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:

      Step_1.png

       

      Step_2.png

      Autoresponse Configuration

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

      configuration.png

      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 bigboss@myorg.org,finance@myorg.org.

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

      configuration.png


      Autoresponse Content

      Write the content of the automatic email.

      autoresponse_content.png

       

      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.

      send_condition.png

      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.

      timed.png

      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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      Comments

      51 comments
      • Hi Jake,

        I was following along to your exchange with Jesse as I am working on doing a similar email trigger. I am curious, though-- why would the smart group need to be greedy? I would assume that you would want to send a trigger to supporters who join the group (say, 30 days out before their membership expires, reminding them to renew), but what would be the point of keeping them in the group? I would assume you'd want them to be removed from the group once their membership expiration date changes. 

        Please advise.

        Thanks!

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      • We are doing a petition drive and collecting e-mail addresses and want to set up a series of 3 welcome e-mail responses. However, it is not working correctly in our test runs. 

        What should my conditions be? and should I place them into a group?

         

        Thanks!

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      • I wish someone would answer Fredrick's question.

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      • Thanks Jake,

        I think I may have misread the ability of autoresponses. Is there a way to set up a trigger to send based on a custom field date for all of our supporters, rather than attaching them to a specific action like a donation?

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      • Somewhat related question - is it possible to send an auto email when a donation is entered in Salsa via an API?

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      • Hi Oliver,

        What an interesting question!  Allow me to paraphrase in order to confirm and define some terms for discussion.  In this case, you want to:

        • Create an advocacy action in Org A
        • Assign an email autoresponse so that advocacy action is from Org B

        The simplest answer to your question is, "No - Salsa data is partitioned so that one organization does not have access to the data of another organization."

        There is a little wiggle room around that if you want to share correspondence and data with a partner organization.  At a very high level this would include:

        • Creating the advocacy action in Org A
        • Creating an email autoresponse in Org A that looks like it's from Org B
        • Appending the camoflaged autoresponse to the action
        • Any supporter data obtained through this action would only be natively available in Org A.  To share it, you'd have to manually export it from Org A and import it into Org B

        Note:  You'd have to make sure that supporters know what's being done with their data (i.e. if supporter records will ultimately be created in the database of both organizations, you need to tell them so, and give them the opportunity to unsubscribe to one or both orgs).

        If this is something you want to pursue, please submit a support ticket and we'll help you with the details.

        Best regards,

        Rebecca

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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 support@salsalabs.com if you have any questions.

        Cheers,

        Allen

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      • Jesse - 

        The part that Salsa has difficulty with is waiting or holding until the [[membership_end_date]] == [[CURRENT_DATE]] condition is met. I'm trying to think of certain ways we could use smart groups and triggers to make this work, but otherwise it may need to be a feature request that we submit to the developers for a future release. 

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      • Is there a way to exclude particular people from receiving the triggers? There are certain people we don't want to receive these, but it doesn't seem likely that groups or tags can be used in the send condition.

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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 support@salsalabs.com.

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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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      • So, I did what you suggested and created a smart group that includes everyone whose membership has expired up to today using our [[membership_end_date]] custom field. Each day that smart group should be adding additional people whose memberships are actively expiring. If I add a trigger to that smart group, it should theoretically send to only new smart group members as they are added, correct? Trying to figure out a way to verify this before I start running it. Thank you!

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      • Nicholas, you're correct that at this time there is no way to exclude a subsection of supporters from triggers.

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

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      • Hi Rachel,

        There are a lot of moving parts here, aren't there? I may have gotten mixed up myself. It really depends on your own process for dealing with and organizing lapsed donors. Do you have one smart group for "lapsing soon" and another smart group for "already lapsed / has not renewed"?

        In that case, "lapsing soon" can be a regular smart group (probably using the relative date queries like I mentioned in a previous comment) - once they fall out of the "in the next 30 days" condition, they'd drop out of the "lapsing soon" group and be moved to the "already lapsed" group. Alternatively, if they renew, they wouldn't meet the "lapsing soon" conditions anymore, and would not be in either group.

        But in some cases, you'd want to make sure it is a greedy smart group so that the supporters are not 'dropping out' of the "lapsing soon" group - it just depends on how you're going about it. At the moment, I'm completely failing to recall one of those cases, unfortunately.

        So thank you for calling me out, and forcing me to explain myself! Jesse, if you read this - apologies if I've led you astray. Feel free to email training@salsalabs.com if you'd like me to take a look at your setup (that goes for Rachel and anyone else reading this as well!).

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      • Jake-would it be possible to exclude a person through making a condition excluding a certain supporter key like [[supporter_KEY]] != *xxxxxxxxx*

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

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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 support@salsalabs.com, and we'll be glad to help you with the details.

        Cheers,

        Allen

         

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      • Hi,

        I'm trying to send an individual email to a person on staff based on when a supporter signs up for a group on a sign up page.  I tried the convention [[the group name written here]] == 1 and it doesn't seem to work. 

        Do you have any suggestions?

        Thanks,

        Lisa 

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      • What's the point of the "Trigger email" option? I was hoping that if I put my email there that I would recieve a copy of the email each time it gets sent.  Nope - not the case.  Here's a screenshot - http://screencast.com/t/BHwBsKOSfpQ.  Please add a feature that will allow me to be cc'd on each email that is triggered.  Otherwise, there is no way of knowing or tracking correspondence.  Thanks, Melanie

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      • Hi,

        I'm trying to send an autoresponder for an action on another organizations Salsa account. I know this maybe a long shot but can I make an autoresponder with a send condition for taking action on another organization using Salsa's targeted action?

         

        We are sending the email from our Salsa account but the action is on another salsa account. Thank You.

         

        A plan b would be to have a send condition that sends the autoresponder if they click on the link in our email from Salsa. Thank You.

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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 support@salsalabs.com.

        Cheers,

        Allen

        Salsa Support

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      • Hi Lisa,

        The best option would be to set up your Individual-type trigger in advance (through the Email Blast package), then attach that trigger to the group in question, through the Group setup interface

        From there, you'll need to make sure the sign up page you're using has that group set as an 'automatic' add, not an optional group, like in this image:

        **

        Enlarge.
        **

        You should be set after that, but let me know if you have any further questions.

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      • Melanie,

        The "Target email" field is only for use with "Individual" type autoresponses (in your screenshot, you're configuring a "Reply" type email). Your best bet is to go to your donation page where you have that Reply autoresponse attached, then add a second autoresponse, make sure it's an Individual type, and then enter your email address in the "Target email" field. Both autoresponses will fire - one will go to the donor, the other will go to you. 

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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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      • 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

        Thanks,

        Lisa 

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      • Hi, is it possible to automatically send a donation thank you to the donor's email if the donation is entered manually?

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      • Melanie,

        You should still be able to add a second autoresponse to that interface: http://www.screencast.com/t/lw2sXvlM 

        Just copy the content from your Reply autoresponse to your Individual autoresponse. Then make sure to switch the "Trigger Type" search option when you're selecting the autoresponses.

        However, you can't loop both (reply to donor AND yourself) into the same autoresponse.

        If you have any additional questions, let's take this to a separate discussion - email training@salsalabs.com.

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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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