Autoresponders are automated emails that fire whenever a form is submitted. You're probably used to seeing donation confirmations sent after a donation is made. That's one type of automated response. You can also set an autoresponder for other forms. For example, you could add an autoresponder to your sign-up form to thank the supporters for joining the cause, or you can send a message of hope and encouragement after a supporter submits a Targeted Letter form, and so on.
Step 1: Getting Started
There are two ways to get to Autoresponders: as a step in the process of creating an Activity or via the Email tab.
Via Activity Creation
Autoresponder emails can (and should) be more than a transaction receipt. Instead, use them to continue the conversation with supporters after they take an action, or ask users to stay engaged by taking another action right away.
Activity Autoresponders feature the following options:
- Send a Copy - This option enables you to send blind carbon copy ("BCC") emails. Supporters will never see the email addresses entered here. To send BCC emails to multiple email addresses, enter the first email that you want to add, and then click Add; then, enter the second email, and click Add. Repeat the process as many times as you need to.
- Include tax-deductible amount in payment summary? - You will see this option only if you are creating an activity that collects funds from constituents. When you select "No", the tax deductible amount of supporters' donations is not shown in the Donation Summary. "Yes" is default for this option. You can change the default for new Autoresponders in Salsa Engage Settings.
- Use the default [autoresponder] - There is a different autoresponder email for each type of activity. This option will use the email that was added when Salsa Engage was set up. If you click the link, you can review and change Sign-Up Form Conformation information. Caution: Any changes you make here will affect all of the published forms that are using information from this page.
- Customize this autoresponder for this form - When you select this option, a Sign-Up Form Confirmation Tab opens that enables you to create an autoresponder, using the Visual Editor, for just this form. Click here for more information about the visual editor.
- Via Messaging
To view a list of your default and any customized Autoresponders...
- Click the Email tab.
- Click the Autoresponders tab.
Step 2: Edit Autoresponders
When you come to the Autoresponders tab for the first time, you'll see available default Autoresponders. You can edit all any of them using the same process. Find the autoresponder that you'd like, and then click anywhere on the Reference Name or Description text.
When you click on a row, the autoresponder will open up in edit mode. You'll edit two major parts:
- The Set-up - Basic info like a short description, From Email, From Name, and Subject Line
- The Content - Change the look of the email by editing things like font, color, images, logos, and text alignment. See
The email's set up information includes the following:
- Name this autoresponder - This field is NOT EDITABLE for default auto responder messages.
- Add a description: This short description includes the context in which you'd use this message as well as keywords you and your teammates might search on to find this message later. This is for internal use only.
- From Name - The name which will show up in the recipient's email box. Best practices dictate that this name should be recognizable to the recipient (they're more likely to open the email if they recognize the name of the person sending it).
- From Email Address - The email address which will show up in the recipient's inbox. This should be a real email address monitored by someone at your organization.
- Reply-To Email Address - This email address to which emails will be sent if a recipient replies to the auto responder message. Again - this should be a real email address monitored by someone at your organization.
- Email Subject Line - The subject line of the email which will be sent. Try inserting their first name to increase open rates. To the right of this field, use the control shown below to add merge fields to your email. Merge fields enable you to insert dynamic text elements into your forms and messages.
Edit Default Autoresponders Using the Visual Editor
Format your text and make arrangements like any other message via the Visual Editor for Activities and Messaging. Since the topic of email creation has been handled in the Email documentation, please refer to it for further information.
Creating Custom, Form-Specific Autoresponders
Creating a form-specific Autoresponder is a part of all Activity workflows as seen here:
In short, you'll be given the option to add an autoresponder at the end of the workflow for activities and messages for which autoresponders are supported.
Step 3: Validate and Publish
Once you've edited your autoresponders, you'll want to test them to be sure they work as expected. You have two tools in Engage to help:
- Spam Checker: What's Your Score? - Click the Request your Score >> button to see if your email is spammy. If you need to improve your spam score, check out our free resource, Emailing in a Spammy World.
- Send a test message - It's a good idea to send test emails to multiple email service providers (for example, send one to a Gmail account, one to an Outlook account, and one to a Yahoo account; in short, whatever email service providers are common for your subscribers). Email formatting may respond to various email service providers differently. To send test emails to multiple email addresses, enter the first email that you want to add, and then click Add; then, enter the second email, and click Add. Repeat the process as many times as you need to.
Once everything looks the way you want it to and performs well in tests, you may wish to look back at the Preview one last time to make sure you're satisfied with the result. Keep in mind that viewing the content in this way is not a substitute for sending test emails; only test emails will show you how your email will interact with various email service providers.
When you're really finished, click Publish This Form in the lower right-hand corner of the window.