Set up automations to send after a visitor subscribes to your mailing list or purchases a product.
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
- Customer activity automations - Sent after someone purchases a store product or digital product on your site
For example, you could send subscriber activity automations thanking people for subscribing to your list, or customer activity automations suggesting they share the item on social media.
Automated campaigns are available on some Email Campaigns plans.
Before you begin
- Automated campaigns count toward your monthly send limit. They don't count toward your monthly campaign limit.
- Some situations prevent automated campaigns from sending.
- Depending on where they enter their email address, new subscribers may need to confirm their mailing list subscriptions before they can receive automated campaigns.
- To send a campaign to a specific mailing list at a specific time, you can schedule blast emails in advance.
- Customer activity campaigns are different from the default order emails customers receive. To learn more, visit Customer email notifications.
Types of automations
Subscriber activity automations
Subscriber activity automations include:
- Welcome email
- Check in email
- New subscriber discount
You can connect subscriber automations to one or more mailing lists, which are connected to forms on your site, or to all subscribers. You can also connect them to your Leads list, which includes subscribers who haven't purchased a product.
Subscriber activity automations are triggered when a subscriber signs up for the mailing list. They can send immediately or after a set amount of days.
Customer activity automations
Customer activity automations include:
- Thank you email - Triggered when a customer buys a product
- Product recommendation email - Triggered when a customer buys a product
- Repeat customers - Triggered when a customer makes two or more purchases
- Follow up email - Triggered after a certain number of days have passed since a customer's last purchase
- VIP email - Triggered when a customer spends over a certain amount
Customer activity automations connect to store products or digital products on your site. You can set automations to send after customers purchase any product, purchase a specific product, spend a certain amount of money, or place a certain number of orders. Keep in mind, point of sale purchases don't trigger customer activity automations.
Sending a customer activity automation doesn't sign the recipient up for your mailing list. You can encourage them to subscribe by adding a newsletter subscribe option to checkout.
Create a draft
To create a draft:
- In your Email Campaigns dashboard, click Create.
- Select an automation type, then select a template. You can use any template when creating an automation.
You can also reuse templates from existing drafts or previously sent campaigns:
- In the Email Campaigns dashboard, click Drafts, Scheduled, Sent, or Automations.
- Click the campaign with the template you want to reuse.
- Click ..., then click Reuse Template and select your automation type. This generates a new automation with the same template.
After you've created a new draft:
- Build the campaign.
- Connect it to a product or mailing list and choose when it sends.
- Activate the automation.
Your draft saves automatically as you build the campaign. While you edit, the automation is paused.
Connect and schedule automations
- Click the Email tab of your automated campaign's draft, then click Automation Settings.
- Depending on the type, click Signs up for, Purchases, or Hasn't made an order in to connect the automation to its trigger. Each subscriber activity automation connects to your subscribers, your leads, or specific mailing lists. Except for the Follow up email type, customer activity automations connect to one or more store products or one or more digital products, or send based on specific conditions.
- Click Send Email to schedule when the campaign sends after the action. Click Custom to choose a custom delay of up to 730 days.
Send customer activity automations after any product purchase
If you want an automation to send after any store purchase, switch the Any Product toggle on under Store Products. If you want an automation to send after any digital product purchase, switch the Any Digital Product toggle on under Digital Products.
Send customer activity automations for total order count or total amount spent
Instead of connecting customer activity automations to products, you can set the automation to send only when customers spend a certain amount of money or make a specific number of purchases. To do this, click the Condition drop-down menu and select Total Order Count or Total Amount Spent, then enter a number. The automation sends when a customer reaches that order count or amount spent, regardless of what type of product they're purchasing.
This is a great way to entice first-time customers with a specific discount or reward repeat customers. Keep in mind, it's not possible to set these conditions for individual products, and the Total Order Count or Total Amount Spent can't be 0.
In the email tab of your automated campaign's draft:
- Add a subject and preview text. Review our tips for help.
- Connect sender details to choose the email address and name that your campaigns are sent from.
- 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.
- 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.
- Click Activate Automation to activate the campaign.
Changes to timing of active automations
If you activate an automation and later change the timing of when it sends, the new send time will only affect subscribers or customers who trigger the automation after the change.
For example, if you schedule an automation to send three days after a subscriber signs up, then later change it to send four days after, any subscriber who signs up before you make the change will still receive it three days after they subscribe, while subscribers who sign up after the change will receive it after four days.
This is particularly important to keep in mind when setting up drip campaigns.
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.
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:
- Create multiple subscriber activity or customer activity automations.
- Connect them to the same mailing list, store product, or digital product.
- Schedule a different sending time for each one. For example, for a customer activity drip 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.
Rename an automation
To rename an automation:
- In the Email Campaigns dashboard, click Automations.
- Click the automation.
- Click ..., then click Rename.
To delete an automation:
- In the Email Campaigns dashboard, click Automations.
- Click the automation.
- Click ..., then click Delete.
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 customer activity automations:
- If someone unsubscribes from a customer activity automation, they're unsubscribed from all customer activity automations for your site
- Unsubscribing from a customer activity 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.
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, Commerce, Professional, and Premium plans, traffic sources analytics shows more information such as revenue generated by each campaign.
Why aren't my automations sending?
Automations won't send to certain recipients under certain conditions. This is to limit inbox spam, protect subscriber privacy, and ensure automations are only sending in the intended scenarios.
Review the table below to learn more.
None. To protect subscribers, automations won't send to these recipients.
|People already on the mailing list before the automation is created, including people added while on a Starter plan.||Create the automation with a new mailing list and encourage existing subscribers to sign up for it.|
|People who subscribe or make a purchase when an automation is paused.||Unpause the automation. Keep in mind, this won't send the automation to subscribers who signed up or customers who purchased during the pause, but it ensures new subscribers and customers receive it.|
Subscription product customers when subscriptions renew. Automations only send on the initial purchase.
|None. To limit inbox spam, automations only send on the initial purchase.|
Drip campaign subscribers when additional drip campaign emails are created after they've subscribed.
|Create the new drip campaign with a new mailing list and encourage existing subscribers to sign up for it. Subscribers only receive drip campaign emails created and active at the time of signup.|
|Customers who haven't made a purchase in a certain number of days when the Follow up email automation was created after their purchase.||Follow up email automations only send to visitors who make a purchase after the automation is active. To send a campaign to customers who made purchases before the automation was activated and haven't made a purchase since, save a segment in the Contacts panel, then send a blast campaign to that segment.|
|Any subscriber if you're over your monthly amount of sends.||Wait until the next usage period begins, or upgrade your plan.|
To further limit inbox spam, 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.