Does your email marketing provider allow unlimited autoresponders? MailChimp doesn’t, but SendinBlue gives full automation for free!
Have you ever wondered how to set up an automated email?
Perhaps you’ve wondered how bloggers manage to quickly send out a Welcome Email to each new subscriber….
It’s all down to email automation – that wonderful invention that makes a website owner’s life a little bit easier 🙂
But email automation isn’t just for sending an automatic welcome email to your website’s new subscribers.
Oh no my friend, it can be used for so much more.
It could also be used for sending other types of automated email(s), or taking a particular IFTT type of action, or even filtering your contact list when someone on your website:
- visits a particular page or group of pages
- clicks a particular link or group of links
- submits a form
- actions a custom event, eg for order tracking
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to link SendinBlue to your website, set up an email template for an autoresponder, as well as select and create your email automation scenario
.. and the best part is that SendinBlue allows you to create and use as many email automations [aka, autoresponders] as you like – even with its free plan.
Ok, here’s the tutorial:
- log in to SendinBlue.com
click “Automation beta” on the top menu bar
- the set-up wizard will show you a code snippet to copy/paste into your website header
If you don’t see the set-up wizard, you can find the code snippet by clicking on the Automation option in the top menu bar. That will take you to the Automation dashboard.
Select “Settings” in the left menu.
On the Settings screen for the Tracking Code, click “View Settings”.
By pasting the code snippet into your website header.php file, it allows:
- SendinBlue to track which pages an already-subscribed visitor reads on your website; and
- you to automate SendinBlue functions for different scenarios
2. use SendinBlue to track your visitors’ actions on your website
SendinBlue tracks visitors’ actions for you on your website so that it can carry out the automation scenarios.
SendinBlue can identify your website visitors by:
- identification using cookies – this is the default setting. When a subscriber clicks a link in your SendinBlue email, SendinBlue uses a cookie to automatically track their future actions on your website
- identification using the identify function – you can set up SendinBlue to track specific events, virtual pages and links
For ease, let’s use the default setting so you don’t have to set up any more code snippets! But, if you do decide to later use the identify function, visit SendinBlue’s Automation Resources for steps on how to set it up.
3. set up your SendinBlue email template for the automation workflow scenario
For the purposes of this tutorial, let’s set up a Welcome Email to be automatically sent by SendinBlue whenever your website has a new subscriber.
- click “Campaigns” in the top menu bar
- on the next screen, click “Campaigns” in the left menu bar
- on the SMTP Templates screen, click the green “Create a New Template” button
- fill out the email template settings for Setup, Build, and Activate – for more information on creating a template in the Build stage, see my tutorial about SendinBlue’s subscription forms as they both use the same Build settings
scroll down to click “Save” after having completed the Setup
- then scroll down again to click “Save” after completing the Build stage
- click the tabs to Send a Test and see the Browser Preview to check what your newly created email template looks like, and edit the email if needed
- click “Next” and then “Save & Activate”
4. select your SendinBlue workflow scenario template
You can either create a custom automation workflow (ie when X happens, SendinBlue should do Y) by combining triggers, conditions and actions, or you can use one of SendinBlue’s ready-made automation templates.
To be up-and-running with SendinBlue automation as soon as possible, let’s use one of SendinBlue’s templates – the Welcome Message:
- click “Automation” in the top menu bar
- select “Workflows” in the left hand menu and click the blue “Create a new Workflow” button
select the Welcome Message template so that SendinBlue can be set up to automatically send a welcome email to your new subscribers
5. filling out the workflow scenario template for email automation
Several popups will take you through the template workflow settings.
Set up the first step of the workflow
- a pop-up appears confirming your chosen Welcome Message template. Click “Next” – the Welcome Message template can be used to send an automated welcome email after a subscriber joins your list
choose which email list you’d like to use to start the workflow – when a new subscriber’s added to that list, they’ll receive your welcome email
- select the delay period – the length of time the subscriber should wait before receiving the welcome email
You’ve now finished the first step of the workflow – see the flowchart on the SendinBlue screen.
Set up the second step of the workflow
- click the +circle to create the second step of the workflow, ie what you’d like to happen when someone subscribes to your list
- choose the second step of the workflow:
EITHER: select “send an email” and choose your Welcome Email template, so that the welcome email is sent to the new subscriber – it’s the template you named and created earlier (3. Set up your SendinBlue email template for the automation workflow scenario)
OR: if you chose the “double optin confirmation” when you created your email template (ie, SendinBlue sends each new subscriber an email for them to click on a link to confirm their email address), then at this stage, you should select “Send an email” and choose the default template for the double-optin confirmation.
- click “Next”
- EITHER: click the blue “Done” button on the top right of the screen (if you have already included your Welcome Email in the workflow)
Set up the third stage of the workflow
click the +circle and select “Wait until”. Choose “clicked template/tag”, and then select the Double Optin Confirmation email
- click the +circle to create the next step of the workflow, and select “Send an email” and your Welcome Email template
- click “Done”
Now, check that your workflow is active.
6. activating the SendinBlue email Automation workflow
After you’ve set up your SendinBlue email Automation workflow and clicked “Done”, check that it’s switched to “On”.
On the top left of the SendinBlue dashboard, you’ll see the name of your workflow (in this case, it’s “Welcome Message”) and an On/Off slider.
SendinBlue may have automatically switched the button to “On”. If not, slide the button to “On” so that your workflow is active.
Note: this blog post is intended to be a general resource only.
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