Creating an email campaign

To create a new Autopilot email campaign:

  1. Ensure you have accessed the Campaigns page.

  2. On this page, click New campaign.

  3. On the New campaign page, click Email to begin creating your email campaign, followed by Next.

Email campaign wizard pages

This section describes each successive page of the email campaign creation process.

Setup

On the Setup page, specify the following details:

  • Give the campaign a name - this is a name that can only be seen by your team and should be used for internal reference.

  • A/B test campaign - you can test different subject lines, preview text, from names and content.

  • Write a subject line for the email - after you finish writing your subject line the Autopilot AI will automatically suggest improved subject lines. If you like a suggestion just click on it to change your existing subject line. You can also click the AI button to switch off subject line suggestions.

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  • Set the preview text - this step is optional but recommended. This is the preview text a recipient will see in their email client and can entice them to open the email along with the subject line.

  • Enter a From name - the is the name of the person sending the campaign. We recommend using a real persons name from your business to make the email more personal. You can use Merge tags like "Owner name" to personalize the From name for each individual recipient.

  • Enter a From email address - this is the email address the email is sent from and by default the email address that will receive replies. You can also set a specific reply-to address. Merge tags can also be used in this field e.g. "Owner email address" to personalize the email for each individual recipient.

  • Set UTM tracking preference - UTM help you track traffic to your website by appending information about the campaign to each URL. If this option is on we will automatically add UTM to all links in the email campaign. Learn more about how our default UTM tracking works.

  • Reactions - Reactions are ON by default. They show 5 emoji in the footer of your email campaign allow people to react and comment on your campaign. This can provide not only valuable feedback and overall sentiment of a message but can dramatically reduce unsubscribe rates. Learn more about reactions.

  • Optional CC/BCC - we support the addition of CC and BCC. You can add multiple people to CC or BCC with comma separation.

  • Add reply to email - the reply to email gives you the opportunity to specify a reply address that is different from the from email address. This is helpful if you want replies to go to another inbox.

  • Custom attribution - each email campaign is set based on your default attribution settings. However sometimes it won’t make sense to track attribution towards orders if you’re emailing about registering for an event. In this case you can set a custom activity as the attribution activity to track in reporting. Learn more about attribution.

Audience

On the Audience page, select either an audience or subscribers, subscribers with a certain tag, or a group of filtered people. You can only select a single audience, tag or filter.

Template

On the Template page, select a template based on a particular use case or one of the simple layout as the basis to build your email. By default each template is themed based on the settings in your brand book. You can select previously saved templates by tabbing to "Saved templates".

Design

On the Design page, the email editor helps you add content and allows you to drag and drop content and images directly into the template. If you have an e-commerce data source connected you will see additional content blocks you can add to your emails including products, recently browsed items and information about the last order.

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There are several other functions in the email editor you should become familiar with:

  • Preview - this displays a preview of the email on both desktop and mobile.

  • Send test - this sends a test email to your email or other emails you specify to check the email displays correctly in your email client.

  • Save as template - if you like the email design you’ve come up with and want to use the layout again when you create your next email you can save the email as a template. This won’t interrupt your campaign workflow.

  • Merge tags - this brings up a dialogue that allows you to add variables and activity attributes to your email.

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Review

The Review page steps helps you double check you have the correct audience, campaign settings and all of your links are working as expected. If there are links that aren’t working they will be shown as errors and clearly marked for review. You can go back to any step or switch between steps by using the menu in the footer.

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Send now

If you wish to send the campaign immediately you can use Send now. After a confirmation the email will send immediately. Send times will vary based on the audience size.

Schedule the campaign

The email campaign can be sent immediately or scheduled for a later time by selecting a date and time for the campaign to start sending. Learn more about how to schedule your email campaign.

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If this is your first email campaign, in particular if you are new to Autopilot and have recently created an/signed up with an account, your details and Autopilot account itself may need to be verified (and therefore "trusted") by Autopilot. Learn more about this process in Untrusted accounts.

Automatic UTM parameters

By default we append sensible UTM attributes to each email URL to help you track the performance of your emails in solutions like Google Analytics. When this option is turned on (recommended) the URL will look like this:

https://www.mystore.com/blog/?utm_source=autopilot&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email_campaign_name

Each parameter is set by default as follows:

  • source = autopilot

  • medium = email

  • campaign = email campaign name

This option should be turned off when using custom UTM parameters.

Email campaign reactions

In the past email metrics were relegated to opens and clicks. But just because someone opened and clicked on your campaign doesn’t mean they like it. Reactions give you an entirely new email metric that we call sentiment. Sentiment will tell you if subscribers are Positive, Neutral or Negative on your email campaign content.

There are several benefits to reactions and sentiment:

  • Get constant feedback on your email campaigns beyond open and click metrics;

  • Dramatically reduce unsubscribe rates - people often choose to react negatively as opposed to unsubscribe giving you a chance to improve your content; and

  • Stay motivated with positive feedback about your content.

Reactions are on by default when you create a new email campaign.

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When the subscriber clicks on a reaction they are taken to a hosted page

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This hosted page is controlled via your brand book settings. We record their initial reaction and then give them a window of time to change it and leave a comment before recording the result in the email campaign report.

The reaction report looks like this

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Schedule the email campaign

When creating an email campaign, you need to configure an audience, tag, or filter, consisting of subscribers/members of people to deliver your campaign to.

If you choose to schedule your email campaign instead of delivering it immediately, then the subscribers/members of your email campaign’s audience, tag, or filter may change, grow, or contract between the time your campaign is created and the time your campaign is scheduled to be sent.

Therefore, Autopilot automatically updates the people who will receive your email campaign, based on the subscribers/members of your campaign’s audience, tag or filter, at the time your campaign is due to be sent.

Every email provides the ability for a subscriber to opt-out, and the standard Autopilot email footer offers different unsubscribe links.

There are two unsubscribe links the subscriber will see depending on who the email is sent to:

  • Unsubscribe from all emails

  • Unsubscribe from this list

When you send an email to a group of subscribers using a filter or a tag we include an option to Unsubscribe from all emails. When clicked the subscriber will be globally unsubscribed and you will not be able to send them email unless they opt back in.

When you send an email to an audience that is included in the email preference center the unsubscribe link changes to "Unsubscribe from this list". If they unsubscribe they will only be unsubscribed from that particular audience but can select to unsubscribe from all emails in the preference center.