This article will walk you through on how to create an autoresponder campaign and address some common questions that come up when using this feature. If you still have questions regarding autoresponder campaigns after reading this help doc, please feel free to reach out to our friendly support team.
What is an autoresponder campaign?
The autoresponder is one of six campaign types that you can use to send out your messages. An autoresponder campaign is a campaign that will be automatically sent to each individual contact after they subscribe to your list. They can be sent as a "Welcome" message to contacts as soon as they subscribe, or can be sent as a "Check in" message a certain number of days or hours after contacts subscribe. Note that an autoresponder campaign is not a drip marketing campaign (send, wait, send, wait, etc.) in our parlance.
All autoresponder campaigns are based on the date and time a contact is added to your list. If you want to create an automated and/or recurring campaign based on a different contact date (such as their Birthday), you will need to setup a Date Based campaign instead.
It is also important to note that all autoresponders will be sent to contacts who sign up to your list using an ActiveCampaign subscription form. If you are using a 3rd party form instead of an ActiveCampaign form, you will need to create an automation to send your message.
Creating an autoresponder campaign
- Click the Campaigns tab in the top menu and click “New Campaign” on the top right of your screen
- Give your campaign a name and select “Auto Responder” as the campaign type. Click “Next”
- Select your list and click “Next”
- Select your desired template by clicking “Use This Design.” You will be able to choose from a pre-designed template, create a campaign from scratch, or re-use a past campaign. For more information on our design formats, please visit this help document
- Enter in your sender details and subject line into the modal pop-up and click “Continue.” You can change your sender details and subject line at anytime
- Add your content and modify your message using our Email Designer and click “Next.” For a detailed overview on how to use our Email Designer to create a campaign, view this help document
- On the Campaign Summary page, toggle the “Send to Existing Contacts” to “On” if you wish to send this autoresponder to pre-existing contacts on your list
- Select the “immediately” option to send this message to new contacts as soon as they subscribe to your list
You can also choose to send this message to send a certain number of days or hours after a contact subscribes to your list. To set up this option, select “after a specific timeframe”
- Click “Finish” to save your campaign and it will send to contacts as they subscribe to your list
Remember, the campaign will not send to your entire list at one time — it will only send individual messages to each new contact a certain amount of time after they subscribe to your list.
How do I change the subject line and sender details for my autoresponder campaign?
You can update the subject line and sender details for your message at any time. To do so, follow the steps below:
- Navigate to the design step of your campaign (where you modify content)
- Click on the gear icon located on the top right of your screen
- From the modal pop up, you can edit your subject line, sender details, add a “Reply to” email address, send yourself a test version of the campaign, and more
Will my autoresponder be sent to existing contacts?
Existing contacts will only receive this autoresponder campaign if you toggle the “Send to Existing Contacts” option to “On.” If you leave this option off, then your existing contacts will not receive this autoresponder campaign. This option is located on the “Campaign Summary” page of your autoresponder campaign.
If you create an Autoresponder campaign today that will be sent to all contacts 10 days after they subscribe to your list, then anyone who has subscribed to your list less than 10 days ago will receive the autoresponder campaign 10 days after their respective subscription dates. However, any contacts who were added to your list longer than 10 days ago will not receive the campaign. If you wish to send the campaign to all contacts added more than 10 days prior to creating this Autoresponder campaign, you can do so by creating a list segment.
Advanced: Why wasn't my instant autoresponder sent when using the API?
Our software offers many ways to add new contacts to the system, one of which is through our open API.
If you have written a custom script using our contact_add() or contact_edit() API functions, and you find that your new contacts are not receiving instant Autoresponders, a common problem is that the API function’s variables are not set correctly. Double-check your script, and make sure that the “instantresponders” variable is set to 1 (NOTE: This would not work with Free plans). Also, make sure that the “noresponders” variable is not set, or is set to 0: