Automation - Automated On Demand or Monthly Live Leads & Email Campaigns

Automation - Automated On Demand or Monthly Live Leads & Email Campaigns

With so much activity occurring at a dealership or across a dealer group it can be difficult to ensure that all customers are communicated with at the right time, with the right message.  With AutoPlay AUTOMATION  we have built in a wide range of automation triggers designed to send out personalized messages and calls to action to help dealerships progress their leads down the road-to-a-sale even when individual contact by the sales team is not possible.

As part of the AUTOMATION functionality it is now possible to automate the creation and delivery of Live Leads or Email Campaigns in AutoPlay.  There are two approaches to automating Live Leads or Email Campaigns;
  1. On Demand Live Leads/Email Campaigns - Emails are triggered on an on demand basis to individual leads as they meet the criteria to send
  2. Monthly Live Leads/Email Campaigns - Emails are set to run at a regularly scheduled date/time and are sent as a campaign to multiple lead recipients
When setting up your automation rule not all triggers will allow you to set up a Live Lead or Email Campaign communication.  The triggers that allow this functionality are; (List updated as at July 2020)
  1. Lead Stalled
  2. Lead Overdue
  3. Lead Created
  4. Lead Inactive
  5. Lead Progress Reached
  6. Lead Progress Not Updated
  7. Lead Not Updated
  8. Lead Closed Lost
The following triggers will also allow for automated Live Leads/Email Campaigns to be set up but it is recommended that you only set up appropriately themed Email Campaigns.  It is not recommended you set up Live Leads eDM's for these triggers.
  1. Lead Closed Won (recommend only using Email Campaigns with this trigger)
  2. Calendar Event Created (recommend only using Email Campaigns with this trigger)
  3. Calendar Event Completed (recommend only using Email Campaigns with this trigger)
  4. Calendar Event No Show (recommend only using Email Campaigns with this trigger)
  5. Calendar Event Due (recommend only using Email Campaigns with this trigger)
Using these triggers in conjunction with the built in Automation 'Brake' points will allow you to target your customers with Email Campaigns and/or Live Leads eDM's showcasing your inventory without having to manually create and send eDM's in AutoPlay.  
  1. As with other Automation settings automated Live Leads / Email Campaigns will only trigger if the lead matches all the other Yard, User, Source, Campaign, Make and Contact group settings and has not hit a specified 'Brake' (such as the lead being updated).
  2. In addition Automation will ONLY trigger to leads created AFTER the automation setting has been created.
  3. The customer will only recieve one Live Leads or Email Campaign per Automation setting.
Some example of how Automating Live Leads or Email Campaigns can help you communicate with your potential customers are;
  1. Thankyou emails after Test Drives
  2. Upsells and introductions to parts & service when the customer buys a vehicle from you
  3. Targeted messages when leads reach certain progress steps such as 'Finance'
  4. Re-touching leads by showcasing a range of appropriate vehicles when leads are stalled or have not been updated in a while
  5. Retarget closed lost leads with cars they might be interested in - remember only 20% to 30% of all leads are converted to a sale each month
NOTE:  As of July 2020 the AUTOMATION screen is only visible to AutoPlay employees.  If you would like to get Automation set up please contact your account manager or support@autoplay.co.nz and our team will work with you to set up your desired automation behavior.



1.  On Demand Live Leads / Email Campaigns
The default approach to sending Live Leads or Email Campaigns with Automation is to send them 'On Demand'.  This is not a setting you need to enable, as the default for all automation actions is to trigger an on demand action at the time the lead meets the automation requirements.  Automation will ONLY trigger to leads created AFTER the automation setting

The first step to configuring your Automation setting to work with Live Leads / Email Campaigns is to tick the 'Creates Email Campaigns' check box.  This will replace the 'Communications' section on the page with a 'Email Campaign' section which can be used to configure the email you want to send.

When the 'Creates Email Campaigns' check box is ticked the 'Run Every*' drop down will become visible.  Note that for certain triggers this drop down is always visible, but for others like "Lead Closed Lost" the drop down is only visible when the 'Creates Email Campaigns' check box is ticked.
The options in this drop down will differ depending on the Trigger you have chosen.  In the screenshot below we have only the options for 'On Demand' and 'Monthly' (See (2) below for more details on Monthly emails).  If the drop down does not have a specific 'On Demand' option then selecting any of the pre-set time frames for that trigger will result in emails being send on demand.



Depending on the trigger you have selected you may also be able to add Trigger Filters.  Using the example of sending a Live Leads email to leads closed it may be appropriate to send only to leads closed with the reason 'Delayed Purchase Decision' and 'Personal Circumstance'.  Conversely it might be not be desirable to send a Live Leads eDM to a customer that has already indicated they 'Purchased Elsewhere' or had 'Finance Declined'.  The Trigger Filters available depend on the Trigger that you have selected.
 


With the 'Creates Email Campaigns' tick box checked the Communications section dissapears and is replaced by the 'Email Campaign' section.

Select the TYPE from 'Email Campaign' or 'Live Leads'.  This field refers to the type your email template was set up with - Email Campaigns can be a generic graphical campaign and Live Leads will allow you to send specially formatted Live Leads templates featuring videos of vehicles in inventory.   

Setting up your Automation emails as 'Email Campaign' rather than 'Email Response' will help you keep the list of email templates lean and tidy when sending Email Responses manually (as Email Campaign templates will not appear in this list).

If you select Email Campaign you can select a Template from the Template list (if your desired template is not visible here then check the type you have set in Email Templates), enter a subject line and if appropriate add some text - if your template has the message built in it will not display any text you have added here.  You can preview your email via the green PREVIEW button (remember the preview is just a view of the email template and will not reflect any customer names or vehicle info).

When sending On Demand emails they will be sent from the owner of the lead.



If you have selected 'Live Leads' in the Type field in the Email Campaigns section then a new section will appear called - Include Matching Listings.  This section is used to determine which vehicles will appear in your Live Leads eDM.

Here you can set the Status of the listings you want to match.  In most cases you will only want to include 'Current' listings available for sale.  You can also specify whether you want to match only New, Used or Demo.  This may be very relevant if setting up an automation record for a New vehicle yard - you may not want to accidentally send the customer a selection of Used vehicles.

The next step is to select some matching criteria.  The system will look at all your inventory within the confines of Listing Status (e.g Current) and Listing Type (e.g New), and match against the primary listing on the lead that has met the automation criteria.  As the blurb on-screen says - if ticked it will need to be an exact match.  




It is important to present relevant vehicles to your potential customers based on the listing they are most interested in.  In this section you can specify some matching criteria ranges to make sure you are not presenting the wrong vehicles in your Live Leads eDM.
  1. Year allows you to match against a specific age of vehicles only.  For the below if the primary vehicle on the lead is a 2010 it will look to include listings from 2007 to 2013.
  2. Price Range allows you to match vehicles within a price range the customer can afford.  In the example below this would return listings that are anywhere from $5k cheaper to $5k more expensive
  3. Odometer Range allows you to match vehicles with similar km's
  4. Listings Created allows you to match stock of a certain age.  Unlike the other 3 ranges this does not relate to the Primary Listing.  In the example below this would match against vehicles that have been in stock longer than 90 days - potentially helping this dealer market and clear their aged inventory



The number of listings that match will depend on how defined you are with these filters, and the rarity or otherwise of the primary listing on the lead.  The 'Include Matching Listings' section also enables you to decide which listings you want to prioritize if more than 9 listings match the customers primary vehicle - selecting from;
  1. Lowest Price - the email will be filled out up to 9 vehicles with your lowest priced listings that match the other criteria
  2. Highest Price - the email will be filled out up to 9 vehicles with your highest priced listings that match the other criteria
  3. Oldest Listings - the email will be filled out up to 9 vehicles with your oldest listings that match the other criteria (based on listing created date)
  4. Newest Listings - - the email will be filled out up to 9 vehicles with your newest listings that match the other criteria (based on listing created date)


If you have been to restrictive with the listing matching criteria it is also possible you may not match enough listings to fill out 9 vehicles on your Live Leads eDM.  In this instance you can set a 'Fill Priority' to determine what other vehicles will be added to take the total up to 9 vehicles.  Once all the matching listings have been exhausted the 'Fill Priority' will then populate the email with other listings that don't match your criteria within the confines of the listing being the same Status (e.g. Current), Type (e.g New & Demo) and Make.
  1. Lowest Price - the email will be filled out up to 9 vehicles with your lowest priced listings across all stock 
  2. Highest Price - the email will be filled out up to 9 vehicles with your highest priced listings across all stock 
  3. Oldest Listings - the email will be filled out up to 9 vehicles with your oldest listings across all stock 
  4. Newest Listings - - the email will be filled out up to 9 vehicles with your newest listings across all stock 
Please note that Automation will only match listings to your Live Leads eDM that ALREADY have a video built for them as this is an integral part of Live Leads.  You can find out more about Virtual Demos HERE.

When Automating Live Leads it requires a minimum of 3 listings before it will trigger a Live Leads type email.  In scenarios where there are not enough matching listings - even when taking into account the Fill Priority rules - it will not trigger the Live Leads to be sent.  Instead it will write a record to the Automation History to say “Automated Live Leads Failed - Not Enough Matching Listings”.  This only applies when sending Live Leads emails - not Email Campaign or Email Responses. 

Note you automated Live Leads will still only send if the lead matches the Yard, User, Source, Campaign and Makes that you have specified.  We've also added a new option to Automation to specify contacts within a Contact Group.  This means that the lead will only be triggered for automation if the customer on the lead belongs to the specified Contact Group.





2.  Monthly Live Leads / Email Campaigns
The other way to send an automated Live Leads / Email Campaign is to queue it up monthly.  The advantage of doing Monthly emails is that you can control when this message is sent, as well as ensure resources are available to follow up with your eDM for the best results.

To set up a monthly Live Leads or Email Campaign select 'Monthly' within the 'Run Every' field.  This will cause a number of new fields to appear.



The 'Period' filed can be set to either 'Day' or 'Every'.  'Day' as pictured above will let you specify a day to send your email each month (i.e the 23rd of each month).  The system will recognize when you set a date that is not possible (i.e 30th Feb).  At present the default send time is 2pm NZT but we plan to add a time picker in the future.

If you select 'Every' in the Period drop down you can choose to set up your email to send on a First, Second, Third or Fourth day of the week every month.



Also new here are the options to specify to send to only 'Leads Created In Last x Days'.  In the example above we have set to 90 Days which will ensure if you have any old historical leads these are not picked up in any unwanted automation.  The 'Trigger Now' check box will allow you to force the first Email Campaign / Live Leads to send now instead of having to wait until the next specified send time.

Unlike the 'On Demand' approach the 'Monthly' approach will only search AutoPlayAuto.com for matching leads just before the scheduled send date.  This does mean that just because a lead has previously matched the Trigger state (i.e. it has been Overdue in the past), as long as the lead does not currently match the trigger state it will not be included in the live leads eDM.

Due to the fact that Monthly emails are set at predetermined times a month apart it is possible to send to a contact on a lead once each month until they no longer meet the automation trigger.  If you do NOT wish this to happen then you can tick the 'Process Each Lead Once Only' to ensure the customer on receives one email.



With Monthly Email Campaigns / Live Leads you can select a specific user for the lead to be sent from.  As with sending On Demand emails you can specify to send either a Email Campaign or a Live Leads Type.  If you select Live Leads you will need to complete the 'Include Matching Listings' section.

This section behaves slightly differently when setting up Monthly Live Leads.  As the system is doing a roll up of multiple leads on a specified date and sending one single email to multiple recipients you cannot specify to match against each leads primary listing.  Instead you can select the type of listings to add to your Live Leads via;
  1. Make - specify to include only the desired Make(s)  - you can select as many as required.  If left blank it will include any Make.
  2. Model - if you have selected a Make you can further specify to only include selected models (i.e Kia > Cerato).  If blank your email could include any Model - you can select as many as required.
  3. Yards - specify the yards that you want to include listings from in your monthly Live Leads
  4. Body Type - specify the types of listings you want to include
  5. Price From $ - specify the lowest priced listing you want to include
  6. Price To $ - specify the highest priced listing you want to include
  7. Priority - select from Lowest/Highest Price or Oldest/Newest Listings within your matching criteria OR select First/Middle/Last By Price to include the lowest 3 priced listings in stock, the middle 3 (by median) and the highest price

Automation - Multi Select Yards, Models & Body Types With Monthly Automated Emails (SPW-3942, SPW-3921)
When setting up Automation records for Monthly Live Leads eDM's it is now possible to set up multiple Makes and Models when specifying the listings you want to include.  Unlike On Demand Live Leads, when setting up Monthly Live Leads the automation setting is not matching against the vehicle the customer has specifically enquired upon.  To ensure the right people get the right vehicles on their Live Leads you can set up your Automation record to only trigger to certain Yards or Makes (i.e Audi & BMW), and then specify that the only cars included on the email are the Makes/Models included in the 'Include Listings' section.  This increases the chances that customers receive a Live Leads eDM with vehicles that are relevant to them.




Similarly, in 20.9.1 it's now possible to select multiple Yards when setting up your 'Include Listings' rules for Monthly Live Leads.  This ensures that the email will only include listings from the yards specified, and like the Make/Model filter outlined above ensures the recipients are receiving the most relevant content to them.




As of 20.9.1 it's also possible to set up in advance the Body Type(s) of the listings you want to include in your Monthly Live Leads.  This feature can be useful if you are targeting a certain type of buyer such as Commercial or Passenger customers, where you know the types of vehicles that are appropriate to send.  For example; you run a web campaign where you are capturing leads for Fieldays.  You know the audience is most interested in Utes and SUV's and so you only want to include these emails in your automation settings.




When Automating Live Leads it requires a minimum of 3 listings before it will trigger a Live Leads type email.  In scenarios where there are not enough matching listings - even when taking into account the Fill Priority rules - it will not trigger the Live Leads to be sent.  Instead it will write a record to the Automation History to say “Automated Live Leads Failed - Not Enough Matching Listings”.  This only applies when sending Live Leads emails - not Email Campaign or Email Responses. 




Following Up Automated Live Leads or Email Campaigns
When a Live Leads eDM or Email Campaign is sent it will use the existing built in functionality you have set up in SETTINGS>SALES PIPELINE SETTINGS>CAMPAIGN SETTINGS.  If the recipients of the email meet the video view or email open threshold it will automatically create a calendar event on the lead to remind the owner of the lead to follow up, and provide a summary of how they interacted with your Live Leads email.  You can read more about this functionality HERE.



Any email sent will be visible within the Automation section in the Automation screen, as well as on the Lead under HISTORY>AUTOMATION HISTORY.  In addition any Email Campaign or Live Lead sent will be visible under the Communications section on your lead (COMING SOON)



Unlike emails sent On Demand, Email Campaigns and Live Leads that are sent via the Monthly method will  appear in the 'Email Campaigns' screen.  The screen will default to 'User' sent campaigns but if the filter is set to 'Automation' you will see any email that has been triggered automatically by the automation settings.  As with manually created Email Campaigns and Live Leads you can access the reporting to view more insight into which recipient viewed which video, and how many times. 






Automation - Allow Live Leads Campaigns To Be Delivered Via SMS
When manually sending Live Leads eDM's or other Email Campaigns you have always had the option to deliver the campaign via SMS instead of email.  When you choose this option it sends your Live Leads/Email Campaign as a link within a SMS instead of as an HTML email.  In 20.9.1 we've expanded our Automation capabilities so that we can replicate this process automatically.  

When setting up a Monthly or On Demand Live Leads/Email Campaign in Automation, you can select 'Send As SMS' when configuring your email.  With this option ticked, provided you have the SMS Gateway set up and the 'SMS Campaign' role enabled, you can SMS your campaign instead of emailing it.  When this option is selected you will need to complete the additional field 'SMS Intro Text' in order to save your setting.  This field controls what message is displayed in the body of the SMS (the link is generated automatically).  

Please note that you are charged for each SMS that is sent externally via Automation - so please be aware this can generate high volumes of SMS being sent depending on your objectives and the way your Automation setting has been configured.  Any SMS Campaign sent on a Monthly basis via Automation will also be logged in the 'SMS Campaigns' screen.


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