Triggering an automatic response whenever a contact opens, clicks or replies to a specific campaign they've been sent


You can set up an automatic response, or a number of automatic responses, per campaign depending upon a recipient performing a specific action, such as an open, click or a reply. These automatic responses can be scheduled to be sent a certain time after the event, plus you can apply a filter to only send the automatic responses to contacts who meet certain criteria.

Setting up an automatic response for a campaign

Select Campaigns from the navigation menu. Your existing campaigns are displayed in the list under the 'Unsent' tab.

Alongside the campaign you wish to set the automatic response for, click on the Summary icon. The campaign's 'Summary' screen is displayed.


Click on the fourth step, Contacts, located in the top right of the screen. You'll of course also reach this page simply by following through the campaign creation process from beginning to end.


The 'Select contacts and schedule campaign' screen is displayed.


Click on the link Add event triggered emails or auto responders to this campaign located at the bottom of the screen.

The 'Triggers' window will display:


From the dropdown next to 'Once a contact has', select the action you require - 'clicked', 'opened', 'clicked a specific link' or 'replied'.

trigger_auto_response_replied.pngFor each of these actions, you're required to select the campaign that gets sent to the recipient when they perform the action. Only campaigns created as 'triggered' campaigns will appear in this dropdown list, so ensure you have set such a campaign up first. 


When selecting 'clicked' or 'opened'...
You'll also be required to enter the least number of times that the recipient needs to have clicked any link in the campaign, or have opened the campaign. Additionally, you can set a delay (in minutes or hours) after the click(s) or open(s) to send the automatic response.

When selecting 'clicked a specific link'...
As well as being asked to enter the least number of times that the recipient needs to have clicked a specific link in the campaign, you'll also need to select the link or links from the campaign that must be clicked. A delay can be set (in minutes or hours) after the click(s) to send the automatic response.

Add a contact filter

Lastly, you have the option to set up a contact filter on the automatic response. This will mean only the contacts who meet the criteria that you define here will be sent to, e.g. all female contacts who live in London and have made a purchase in the last 3 months. This allows you to target types of contacts more specifically, should you wish to.

Click Add filter, select a contact data field to base a condition upon, then select an operator and a value to fully form your condition. Once happy, click the disk icon to save it. 

You can add multiple filters to build up the overall complexity of your criteria.

When adding multiple filters, you'll notice you can click on the And proceeding other filters and change it to 'Or', 'And not' or 'Or not'.

When happy with your trigger settings, click on Save.

Your trigger will next appear as confirmed in the 'Triggers' window. You can add further trigger types if you wish by clicking on Add new. When you've finished, close the window.


The number of triggers you've created is displayed at the foot of the 'Select contacts and schedule campaign' screen.


When happy, click on the Save & continue button.

Editing and deleting triggers

To edit or delete your triggers, simply click on the trigger link at the foot of the 'Select contacts and schedule campaign' screen to reopen the 'Triggers' window listing your triggers. From here, you can click on the Edit pencil icon next to them to open the trigger settings window.

You can delete triggers by ticking them and clicking Delete.

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  • Avatar

    a word of caution on the use of these types of Triggers as our company just found out today.

    If dotMailer has a backlog of single send mailers going out (eg triggered from a click through) there seems to be a risk that they are allocated 'low priority' by the dotMailer serviers.

    We experienced this in the last 24 hours providing confidential security information to 36,000 customers.


    Lets just say our telephones have been ringing off the hook instead


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