This document describes the use of "Autoresponder" mailings in YourVirtuoso. Autoresponders are different from regular mailings, because they are processed every day at the time you specify. They use special selectors that are time based, so that you can schedule a certain email to go to, for example, every family who contacted you 1 week ago. The autoresponder will run every day looking families that now meet that criterion and send the specified email to them.
Creating an Autoresponder
- Access the Mailing screen using the Marketing menu
- Click Add a Mailing to get started
Setting the basics
- Select the autoresponder option, so it will be processed every day. The selectors (5) will change to those suitable for repeating mailings.
- Autoresponders often come in groups. Perhaps you want to nurture a contact by sending them a series of emails the day after, week after and 2 weeks after they contact you. Name this email so you can easily see which sequence it belongs to and when it is sent in the sequence if appropriate.
- Give it a subject that encourages the customer to open it
- Pick a date for the FIRST time you want this to be sent and a time of day. The autoresponder will run every day at this time starting on that date. Consider the type of email and when it makes sense to have it processed. For example, if you schedule a "Thanks for previewing" email the day of the preview, you probably want it sent late in the day after the previews have all happened.
- Now click the special autoresponder selector to select which families receive this email
Select Who receives this email and When
- There are 4 trigger events for autoresponders. Enrollments, Previews, Initial Contact Us submissions, and student birthdays. Select the radio button for the type you are creating.
- Use the drop-down selectors to narrow down when you want this specific email to be sent. You will often create several similar emails (using the clone feature) to send a slightly different email immediately after an event, a few days after etc.
- Double check the criteria look good and click OK, and on the add mailing page click Next >
Add or Edit the body of your email
There are 4 ways to add content, exactly as for regular mailings:
- Create Mailing Content takes you to the editor with a blank page to start on. (Note that if you have cloned a mailing, you start with the previous content, and this button will say Edit Mailing Content
- Upload a File lets you import a text or html file that you have created outside YourVirtuoso. Note that MS Word documents, PDF's etc. are not compatible with this upload feature, but you may be able to save them as text and import them. It is not recommended to export MS Word as html for this purpose, as this creates a very complex html file using MS proprietary style commands that often conflict with YourVirtuoso html styling.
- Use a Template to send lets you select a template that you may have saved using the Marketing/Templates feature
- Search template library accesses a library of predefined emails that depend on the affiliation(s) you have selected under MyInfo/Main
After creating and formatting your email, click OK to get back to this page, and click Next >
Confirm all is good
- Check that the parameters and content are good and click Save and Back to Main to see your list of mailings & autoresponders
Managing Your Autoresponders and Mailings
With multiple autoresponder running every day, you will probably be sending many more mailings than you have to date. To keep your list of mailing manageable, the default view will show recent, normal mailings and the next scheduled processing day/time for each of your autoresponders.
To modify or stop an autoresponder, click it and edit or delete it.
- You can see which are regular (one time) mailings and which are autoresponders in this column. HINT If you have a lot of autoresponders but want to see the regular mailings, click the heading on this column twice (Frequency) to sort them to the top.
- The Status column continues to show mailings that are scheduled (future) In Progress (now) and Completed (past). Note that only Completed regular mailings show here.
- To see when autoresponders were sent, and who they were sent to, select Completed Auto-Responders from the Scheduled drop down