Setting up an Email Autoresponder


This article outlines how to set up an autoresponder.


Plan availability
Autoresponder setup
Merge field cheat sheet
Best practices


An autoresponder is an email automatically sent to a participant after they have entered a Campaign. Create an autoresponder to follow up with participants, reward them with deals or discounts, or drive them to your website or store.

NOTE: Participants do not need to opt in to receive it; this service complies with ICANN because it's a transactional email.

Each form has its own autoresponder. When a form is copied, the autoresponder is also copied.

Plan availability

The autoresponder feature is available on all plans. Free and Starter plan subscribers will see ShortStack branding at the bottom of the autoresponder (see below). Branding is removed for subscribers on the Business plan and higher. 

Autoresponder setup:

1. Navigate to the Forms/Entries page.

2. Select a form you've already created from the list of forms, or select “New” to create a new one.

3. Within the Form Designer, select Edit Email Autoresponder.

4. This opens the Autoresponder Setup. On the right, select the "Enable Autoresponder" checkbox.

The setup sidebar consists of the following:

Email Subject Field: This is the subject line that will appear in participants' inboxes.

From Name: This field is where you can put the name of your Campaign or the name of your company so the participant knows who sent the autoresponder.

From Email Address: This field is where you can put a reply-to email address. When a participant replies to the autoresponder email, their response will be sent to this email address. 

Available Fields: See below for further explanation on merge fields. 

Merge field cheat sheet

A merge field is a placeholder for personalized or dynamic text that will be added to your Campaign when the actual autoresponder is sent. These merge fields will automatically populate content within the body of the email.  NOTE: These fields will only display content if you are using these fields to collect data within your Form. If a merge field is added and there is no corresponding field on the form, it will appear blank in the body of the email.

Available Merge fields are as follows. Do not modify the merge field itself; removing punctuation or characters from the code will result in a broken merge field.

Form Name appears as: {{ entry.form_name }}
Displays the name of the form as specified in the Form Designer.

Campaign name appears as: {{ entry.tab_name }}
Displays the name of the Campaign as specified in the Campaign Builder.

Facebook Page name appears as: {{ entry.page_name }}
Displays the name of the Facebook Page where the Campaign is hosted.

Entry date appears as: {{ entry.created_at }}
Inserts the time and date the entry was submitted.

Refer-a-Friend URL appears as: {{ entry.referral_url }}
Inserts the entrant’s unique Refer-a-Friend URL.

Entrant’s first name appears as: {{ entry.first_name }}
Displays entrant’s first name.

Entrant’s last name appears as: {{ entry.last_name }}
Displays entrant’s last name.

5. Construct your autoresponder using the rich text editor on the right.

To add an image, click on the Insert/edit image icon on the right. Your image will need to be hosted in your Media manager. Navigate to your Media manager, and upload the image you want to use in the autoresponder. Once the image is uploaded, click on the </> icon to the far right of the image thumbnail, and copy the image URL.

Return to the autoresponder editor, and paste the image URL into the image field. Adjust the size of the image by changing the dimensions.

6. Select Send Test Email to view the autoresponder in your inbox. Send to multiple email addresses by separating email addresses with a comma.

7. When you're finished, select Save Responder.

Best practices

An autoresponder can be used for much more than just a Thank You. Create an autoresponder to follow up with participants, reward them with deals or discounts, or drive them to your website or store. 

Send unique referral links

If you have the Refer-a-Friend feature enabled on your Campaign, send participants their unique URL after they’ve entered by using the Refer-a-Friend URL merge field in the body of your autoresponder.

Send a coupon

Reward participants for giving you their email address by sending them a discount code to apply to their purchase.

Send a reminder to revisit the Campaign

Keep participants engaged in the Campaign by reminding them to return to it on a specified date for further action, such as voting in another round of a contest. Include links to the Campaign, your website, and social profiles.