Triggering automated emails from an import

If you're familiar with using Marketing Automation in your account, you'll know already that you can set up a rule to send an email to someone automatically when they're added to the list. However, an import won't trigger this. This is all very well to prevent the system sending 'thanks for subscribing' emails to hundreds of newly imported subscribers at once, but sometimes you may have a strategy in mind for which this automation would be perfect - for instance, sending a data capture form to subscribers gathered at an event to gain more information about them. Here's how you can set up a workaround to trigger automation rules by import.

As we've seen, the automation rule to send an email out when a subscriber is added to a list isn't triggered by an import. However, the rule to move or copy the subscriber to another list CAN be triggered by import, and a subscriber being moved or copied from one list to another counts as that subscriber being added to the second list - which means that it will trigger the rule to send the automation rule. 

The logistics are a bit confusing - here's how it works in practice! We'll be using the 'move' functionality in this example.

1. Create your email

Always start with the email you want to send out - this can't be changed once you have your rules set up, so make sure it's finished before proceeding! Let's call it "Intro email" for now.

2. Create your lists

You'll need two lists now: one for the import, and one for them to be moved to. For now we'll call them "Imported subscribers" and "Moved subscribers".

3. Create your first Marketing Automation rule

This is your 'moving' rule. It needs to trigger when subscribers are added to "Imported subscribers" and its action is to move those subscribers to "Moved subscribers". You can see the summary in the image below. Because of the time the system needs to process imports and rules, this kind of rule needs a minimum of an hour before it can take effect. 

4. Create your second Marketing Automation rule

This is the final 'sending' rule we've been building up to. It needs to trigger when the subscribers are added to "Moved subscribers" and send your "Intro email". This one can happen immediately, after a time delay or at a specific time of the day. 

There you have it! Your subscribers will go from your CSV file, through the "Imported subscribers" list, onto the "Moved subscribers" list and receive your introduction email all with no additional input from you. That data capture form you just sent them could gather their full name, preference of haircare products, which of your stores they most commonly shop in - all of which can help you target your marketing more precisely.

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