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Sending automated campaigns

Automated campaigns are targeted emails you can send to people after they perform a specific action on your site. They're sometimes called "triggered sends."

There are two types of automations:

  • Subscriber activity automations - Sent after someone subscribes to a mailing list through a form on your site.
  • Commerce automations - Sent after someone purchases a product on your site.

For example, you could send subscriber activity automations thanking people for subscribing to your list, or commerce automations suggesting they share the item on social media.

Automated campaigns are available on some Email Campaigns plans.

Before you begin

Create a draft

To create a draft, go to your Email Campaigns dashboard and click Automations. Then:

  • Create a new draft - Click Add and choose your automation type. (You can also click Create from the dashboard.)
  • Edit a draft you already started - Choose the draft, click ..., and then click Edit Campaign.
  • Copy an existing automation - Click ... next to the campaign, and then click Duplicate.

After you've created a draft:

  1. Build the campaign.
  2. Connect it to a product or mailing list and choose when it sends.
  3. Activate the automation.

Your draft saves automatically as you build the campaign. While you edit, the automation is paused.

Connect and schedule automations

To choose when an automation sends and connect it to a mailing list or item:

  1. Click the Email tab of your automated campaign's draft, then click Automation.
  2. Depending on the type, click Mailing List or Product to connect the automation to its trigger.
  3. Click Timing to schedule the automation. Click Custom to choose a custom delay of up to 60 days.

Commerce and subscriber activity automations have different options:

  • Each subscriber activity automation can connect to one mailing list.
  • You can connect commerce automations to one or more products, or switch the Any Product toggle on to send the automation after any purchase.

Here's how that looks for a commerce automation:


Activate automations

In the Email tab of your automated campaign's draft:

  1. Add a subject and preview text. See our tips for help.
  2. Connect a sender profile to choose the email address and name that your campaigns are sent from.
  3. Click Legal Address to add a valid physical postal address to the footer. If this is your first campaign, the address from your site's Business Information Settings displays by default, or you can add an address manually. If you aren't sure which address to use, visit our tips.
  4. Click Send Test to send a test email to your personal address. This is optional, but we recommend it. See these tips for a checklist of things to look out for.
  5. Click Activate Automation to activate the campaign.

Pause automations

There are two ways to pause an automation:

  • Click ..., then Pause.
  • Automated campaigns automatically pause if you edit them. This ensures your subscribers don't see an unfinished draft.

To un-pause an automation, click Activate Automation

If a subscriber signs up or a customer makes a purchase when an automation is paused, the automation won't send to them, even after it's made active again. For existing subscribers and customers, if an automation is paused when it's time to send them an email, our system waits four hours, then tries to send it again. If it's still paused during this second attempt, the automation won't send to them.

Delete automations

To delete an automation:

  1. From the Email Campaigns dashboard, click Automations.
  2. Click the automation.
  3. Click ..., then click Delete.

Deleted automations move to the trash can for 30 days. Click Deleted Automations to restore or permanently delete them.

Rename an automation

To rename an automation:

  1. From the Email Campaigns dashboard, click Automations.
  2. Click the automation.
  3. Click ..., then click Rename.
Tip: After switching automation types, update the automation's name so you can find it easily in the automations list.

Change automation types

To change an automation type from commerce to subscriber activity, and vice versa:

  1. From the Email Campaigns dashboard, click Automations.
  2. Click the automation.
  3. Click ..., then click Edit Campaign.
  4. In the Email tab in the right panel, click Automation.
  5. Click After a Purchase or After a Person Subscribes to switch to the other type.
Tip: Any demo content in the draft will stay the same.

Automation blockers

Subscriber activity automations won't send:

  • To people you've added to your mailing list manually or imported.
  • To people already on that mailing list, including people added while on a Starter plan.
  • To people who've unsubscribed.
  • To people who subscribe or make a purchase when an automation is paused.
  • To drip campaign subscribers when additional drip campaign emails are created after they've subscribed. Subscribers only receive drip campaign emails created and active at the time of signup.
  • To Subscription Product customers when subscriptions renew. Automations only send on the initial purchase.
  • If you're over your monthly amount of sends.

To limit inbox spam, subscriber activity and commerce automations are only sent to subscribers once in any 30 day period. For example:

  • If someone unsubscribes from a mailing list and resubscribes within 30 days, they won’t receive the automated message again.
  • If someone triggers the same automation twice within 30 days, they won't receive the automated message again. For example, if they purchase a product connected to an automation twice, they'll only receive the automation after the first purchase.

Track your progress

Click any automation and scroll down to the graph to see how many people received, opened, and clicked a link in the automation, and to track unsubscribes.

To learn more, visit Tracking email campaign analytics.

Tip: On Business and Commerce plans, Traffic Sources Analytics shows more information such as revenue generated by each campaign.


Automations and unsubscribes

For subscriber activity automations:

  • If someone subscribes and then unsubscribes before a subscriber activity automation is sent, they won't receive the subscriber activity automation.

For commerce automations:

  • If someone unsubscribes from a commerce automation, they're unsubscribed from all commerce automations for your site.
  • Unsubscribing from a commerce automation doesn't unsubscribe them from any mailing lists they're on.

For drip campaigns:

  • If someone unsubscribes from one automation, they won't receive any others.

To learn more about unsubscribes, visit Email campaign unsubscribes.

Drip campaigns

A drip campaign is a series of emails. For example, if someone signs up for the mailing list on your fitness website, you could send a short set of emails with tips to help them get started exercising.

To create an automated drip campaign:

  1. Create multiple subscriber activity or commerce automations.
  2. Connect them to the same mailing list or item.
  3. Schedule a different sending time for each one. For example, for a drip commerce campaign, you could set one to send immediately after purchase, one to send 14 days later, and one to send 30 days later.

Only visitors who sign up for a newsletter or make a purchase after you create the automated drip campaign will receive these emails, even if some of the drip campaigns are scheduled further in the future. For example, if someone purchases a product, and the next day you schedule a drip campaign to send a week after a purchase, that customer won't receive the email, but new customers will.

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Sending automated campaigns