The last thing anyone wants is to email out a broken link to thousands of subscribers. Don’t worry, Direct Mail has you covered! Our built-in link checker tests all of the links in your email (even the ones in the footer you forgot about) and alerts you to any issues before you send.
To test your links, choose “Message > New Spam Test” from the menu bar, or click the “Spam Test” button in the toolbar. You’ll get a handy report of any issues that Direct Mail found in your message, including broken links.
Depending on how often you send, it may not take long for you to accumulate a large collection of messages inside your Direct Mail project. Need to bring some order to that chaos (and don’t want to delete your past emails)? Try message folders!
You can use folders to organize your list of messages into whatever scheme makes sense for you: by topic, by year, by month, etc. Folders can contain nested folders, for fine-grained organization.
To create a folder, click the pop-up arrow next to the New button in the toolbar and choose New Message Folder. You can add message (and folders) to your folder by dragging and dropping message thumbnails from your list into the folder. Happy organizing!
Whenever you send an email campaign, Direct Mail automatically creates a version of your message that can be read in a web browser and shared online. This is a really handy way to share your campaign via social media, add it to your website, or share internally with colleagues. Here’s how:
Send your email campaign
Go the Reports tab
Select your campaign report
Click the “Share” icon in the toolbar and choose “Share Message”
Direct Mail’s email automation features save you time and energy, letting you focus on the core of what makes your business unique. There are a number of automations available in Direct Mail, but this blog post focuses on one in particular: autoresponders. Autoresponders make it easy to send email automatically to people on your list based on certain events and criteria that you specify. One common example that you may be familiar with is a birthday or anniversary email. We want to introduce you to another use case: sending automated follow-up emails to people who engage with your newsletters.
Sending follow-up emails can be a great way to provide relevant information or support to a lead or customer in a timely manner. For people who express an interest in your newsletter (by clicking a link, responding to a poll, etc.), you may wish to send them additional information, schedule a call or meeting, or just thank them for their response or interest. We explain how to set up this kind of automation below.
Planning Your Automation
Let’s cover what you need to get this automation up and running:
Your mailing list
An email newsletter that you plan to send out to your list
A follow-up email to send to people that engage with your newsletter from step #2
Let’s talk about #2. Make sure that your email newsletter includes links (or a feedback poll) that people can click on or interact with. It could be a link to a page on your website, social media post, video, or other content that your subscribers may find interesting and click on. The click will be what triggers the automated follow-up email to go out.
Lastly, create the follow-up email that will be used in step #3. Just like any other email in Direct Mail, you can include any kind of content you like (text, images, videos, links, etc.) and use mail-merge tags to personalize your message for the recipient.
Creating Your Automation
Now that you have all the pieces in place, let’s create the automation. By the time we’re finished, you will have sent your newsletter and configured an automation that sends out follow-up emails to the people who click your newsletter links.
Schedule the Newsletter Campaign (Or Save It as a Draft)
The first thing to do is schedule delivery of the newsletter that you created in step #2 above. You don’t want to send it out at this step, but you do need to schedule it to send at a future date (to give you enough time to set up the automated follow-up emails).
This is done by clicking “Send” in the toolbar, then clicking the “Schedule” pop-up menu and choosing “Schedule for Later” (if you know when you want to send it) or “Save as Draft” (if you’re not sure when you want to send yet).
Configure and Start the Autoresponder
Choose “Window > Autoresponders” from the menu bar, or click the Autoresponders button in the toolbar.
Give the autoresponder a name— this is just for your reference, your recipients won’t see it.
Next, click on the pop-up menu and select the follow-up email that you created in step #3 above. This is the email that will be sent out automatically.
Next, choose the event that will trigger the follow-up email. In this case, choose the option titled “Clicking a link in an email campaign”
Next, choose which email campaign you want want to watch for clicks. This should be the newsletter campaign that you just scheduled to send. You can pick and choose which links in the newsletter will trigger the follow-up email. You may choose all of them, or just the links that are relevant for your follow-up email.
If you want to delay when the follow-up email is sent, or adjust other advanced options, you can do so by scrolling down to reveal those settings, but the defaults should cover most cases.
The final step is to click the Start button in the toolbar (look for the “play” icon ▶️). Congratulations 🎉, your autoresponder is up and running!
When your newsletter campaign is sent out, the autoresponder will watch to see who clicks the links that you specified. As soon as the link is clicked, your follow-up email will be sent automatically—even if Direct Mail is not running on your Mac at the time.
Just like regular email campaigns, you can review the performance of your autoresponder campaign in the “Reports” tab in Direct Mail. You will notice some additional date-based filtering options to help you evaluate recent performance versus overall performance. The “Recipients” section of the campaign report will show you who has received the autoresponder thus far.
What happens if a recipient clicks a bunch of links, or the same link multiple times?
Don’t worry, your autoresponder won’t send duplicate follow-up emails. They’ll receive the follow-up email after the first click, and subsequent clicks will not trigger an email.
What if I need to edit my follow-up email?
Your follow-up email cannot be edited while the autoresponder is running. If you need to make changes, pause the autoresponder (in the Autoresponders window), make your edits, and then resume the autoresponder.
When does my autoresponder stop running?
Autoresponders run indefinitely until you pause them (in the Autoresponders window). Note that autoresponders will be automatically paused if you remove your project from the cloud, or transfer ownership of your project to someone else.
What’s a draft?
When you schedule your email campaign to go out, there is an option to instead “Save as a Draft”. A draft campaign is simply an email campaign that is scheduled to go out, but that doesn’t have a send date specified yet. You can send a draft campaign at any time by selecting it in the Reports tab and clicking “Deliver Now” or “Schedule Delivery”.
Can my follow-up email be triggered by a click on an “email”, “telephone”, or “anchor” link?
No. Only “URL” links can trigger autoresponders. The other kinds of links (email, telephone, and anchor) are not tracked by Direct Mail and do not show up in the campaign report.
Spend your time focusing on the core of your business, and let Direct Mail’s email automation features take care of the rest. Our Autoresponder feature is a great way to automatically follow-up with subscribers in a timely manner as they engage with your newsletter content. Nurture leads, grow sales, build customer relationships, and more, all without lifting a finger.
Was this email helpful? How likely are you to recommend our service to a friend? What topic do you want us to cover in our next newsletter? There’s no doubt that getting timely, honest customer feedback is essential to the success of any business. That’s why we are so excited to share with you a new feature that lets you quickly and easily find out what your subscribers are thinking. It’s called Polls, and it’s available now in Direct Mail version 6.0, a free update for everyone.
It’s Easy to Add a Poll to Your Message
Direct Mail’s built-in template editor already lets you add a variety of content blocks to your message: image blocks, text blocks, social media blocks, etc. We’ve now added an additional block: the Poll block. You add a Poll block to your message when you want to ask your subscribers a question.
Like other blocks, you can modify the appearance of your poll (layout, alignment, font, color, etc.), but you also specify a list of responses that your subscribers can choose from when answering. We have a number of commonly used responses built-in, but you can write your own, too. Here are some examples:
You can add as many polls to your email as you need.
It’s Easy For Your Subscribers to Respond
When your subscribers receive your email, they can respond to your poll right from inside their email app. Each poll response is just a simple link. When they click the link, they are shown a web page thanking them for their response and directing them back to the email.
View Poll Results in Your Campaign Report
After you send your email campaign, poll results show up right in the campaign report. You’ll get a summary of the top response (and, if applicable, the average of all responses), and can drill down into a histogram of all responses. Poll results are also available on the go, in Stamps, as well as in web reports.
We hope our new Polls feature will help you unlock valuable feedback that your subscribers are just waiting to provide! Polls are easy to incorporate into your existing messages, convenient for subscribers to respond to, and results are available instantly in your campaign reports. If you have any questions, you can consult our in-depth help article on the topic, or contact our customer support team any time. We’d love to know what you think, and how you plan to use this new feature!