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Autoresponses and Follow Up Messages

Creating Messages

Editing Messages

HTML and Attachments

Testing and Troubleshooting

Autoresponses and Follow Up Messages - Creating Messages :

What should I put in my messages?

Marketers the world over use follow up autoresponders to increase sales. But, many struggle to write a compelling message series. Don't let that keep you from your share of the profits! Print and follow these instructions; you'll soon be following up with finesse:

Learn How to Structure A Follow Up Series
Learn How to Write a Follow Up Message

What format should the autoresponder and follow up messages be written in?

The autoresponder and follow up messages need to be composed in plain text and/or HTML format. Note that the Word and Wordperfect formats are NOT plain text formats. Use a simple text editor such as Notepad to compose your OptinZip messages. Notepad comes with Windows and can be found under "Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> Notepad"

How long can my messages be?

The OptinZip system does not limit the length of your messages. However, some older versions of Internet Explorer may give you trouble while you're entering your messages in the Control Panel if they are longer than 30KB. If you encounter this problem contact help@optinzip.com, and we will take care of getting your messages into your autoresponder.

How do I personalize my messages?

If you've kept your leads' names as well as e-mail addresses in your OptinZip lead list, then you have the option of personalizing your autoresponder and follow up messages for each lead.

You can tell the OptinZip system to insert each lead's name into a message subject or body by using the $NAME variable. Wherever you want the customer's name to appear, type $NAME. Note that the variable must be in all caps (neither $name nor $Name will work). The variable does not, however, need to be in bold type.

For instance, if you type your autoresponder to read:

Then John Doe, one of your leads, will receive an e-mail that says:

Tips And Tricks For Better Personalization:
Since you probably won't have captured the names of every one of your leads, you need to be careful how you use the $NAME function in your autoresponse and follow up messages. Always make sure that your message makes sense even if there is no name to insert. Be especially careful with commas and other punctuation. For instance if you type your autoresponder to read:

What intervals does OptinZip generally suggest between follow up messages?

Message number = Recommended Interval in Days

1 = auto
2 = 1-2
3 = 3-4
4 = 4-9
5 = 5-15
6 = 9-30
7 = >30

Can I customize the "From" address on my autoresponders?

Yes, the "From" address can be customized through the OptinZip Customer Control Panel:

Does the autoresponse message have to be used?

You can disable the first autoresponse mesage by logging into your account, click on "Messages". Click the "x" next to each message in the follow up area to delete and disable them.

Autoresponses and Follow Up Messages - Editing Messages :

How do I edit my messages?

How do I delete a follow up message?

How can I change the intervals at which my follow up messages are sent?

Note that you cannot change amount of time between a new lead signup and when the autoresponse message is sent to that lead.

How can I change the order in which my messages are sent?

Note that the arrows will only move message content, and not the interval at which your messages are sent.

For instance, let's say that your first message is set to go out immediately, and your second message is set to go out two days later. Even if you use the arrows to swap the content of those messages, your leads will still receive one message immediately, and another two days later.

To change the interval at which any one message is sent, click the "Edit" link for that message.

How do I resend my autoresponder and follow up messages to leads who have completed the message cycle?

Autoresponses and Follow Up Messages - HTML and Attachments :

Can I use HTML in a message or send an HTML e-mail?

Yes, you can use HTML in your autoresponder and follow up messages. However, do recognize that some e-mail programs do not support HTML. In those cases we also support Text/HTML Mime message format that will automatically display HTML or text depending on what the user's email program supports.

To mark up only certain sections of your messages, just use single HTML tags. To make your whole message an HTML document simply paste your HTML into the "HTML Message" box on the edit messages page.

Can I put hyperlinks/URLs in my messages?

Yes, you can put hyperlinks in your autoresponder and follow up messages, but you may not really want to. Hyperlinks are just text that the recipient's e-mail program turns into a hyperlink. The creation of hyperlinks is not dependent on the OptinZip system, but rather on the program your leads use to read their e-mail. The format required to make text show up as a hyperlink varies with the e-mail program being used to read the message, and some programs don't support hyperlinks at all!

So, you can certainly put hyperlinks in your autoresponder and follow up messages, but know that many of your leads may not see the text you enter as a hyperlink. Plain text URLs may work out better for you.

Why isn't the hyperlink/URL in my message showing up in my AOL e-mail?

In order for the AOL e-mail program to display a URL as a hyperlink, it needs to be written in a special format. Please see our online tutorial for creating AOL hyperlinks.

Can I create attachments for my messages?

Yes, OptinZip fully supports attachments in autoresponses, follow ups, and broadcasts.

Autoresponses and Follow Up Messages - Testing and Troubleshooting:

How can I see what my message looks like when a lead receives it?

Check a message for content filter issues.

Prevent your requested messages from being mistakenly identified as spam by aggressive content filters. These "false positives" lower the overall deliverability of your messages and frustrate your subscribers since your message should not have been filtered since it was specifically requested.

A content filtering tool widely used by individuals and ISP's is Spam Assassin™. It uses a set of predefined rules to assign a point score to incoming email messages. Each user may configure the software differently but generally if your score exceeds 5 it will be filtered as spam.

Your account has an integrated real time Spam Assassin™ scoring system allows you to know instantly when a message is saved if it might be mistakenly filtered. Below you can see how the sample message is highlighted red because it's score is over 5.

By clicking on the point score a user may instantly view the content that their messages are catching on in the Spam Assassin™ ruleset.

We take this one step further by displaying the entire message and highlighting the exact sections of your message that match the criteria ruleset. No other company has anything like this with their service.

That way there is absolutely no guessing what is tripping a ruleset. The message can be changed in real-time and see if it lowers the score. All in a few seconds.

Terms: Spam Assassin™, spam score, content filter, content checker, message checker

Why are there weird characters in my messages?

If your messages contain characters like & or #8217, then you probably used Microsoft Word to create your messages.

You must use a plain text editor to compose your messages. Many common word processing applications such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Works, and WordPerfect insert hidden formatting codes into documents. When you try to copy and paste these documents into your OptinZip Control Panel using your web browser, the browser doesn't understand those codes. This results in strange characters interspersed throughout your messages.

To fix messages that you have already written in a word processing program:

How do I stop message text from running off the edge of the screen?

In order to make sure that the text of your message doesn't show up all on one line, you need to insert your own line breaks. Just push enter at the end of each line. How long should each line be? Most e-mail programs will display a message correctly if each line contains no more than 55 to 65 characters. Instead of counting the number of characters in each line of your message, do this:

What is the unsubscribe link that OptinZip appends to my messages?

OptinZip appends two lines to the bottom of each message sent through your autoresponder, allowing the lead to remove himself from further mailings. The URL in these lines leads to a "Subscription Options" page. A lead who visits this page can change his e-mail address, change his name, or unsubscribe from your list. The link itself is encoded, so that no information about you or your lead is visible.

When a lead follows this link and chooses to unsubscribe himself, he is given the option to leave comments about his decision to unsubscribe. If he does leave comments, they will be e-mailed directly to you, the owner of the autoresponder.

To customize the look of your Subscription Options page, or to see a preview of the page: