Set up Automated Distribution
Setting up automated distribution rules allows you to plan and deliver email invitations and reminders based on the schedule of your choice, simplifying your processes and avoiding repetitive manual tasks.
This feature is available only in our Enterprise plan. Contact us to take advantage of this option.
Before your set up your automated distribution rules, first:
SoGoSurvey will link your account to the SFTP server and use all the uploaded files for sending invitations/reminders. Once everything is in place, you can begin setting up your automation rules.
- Select your project, then click on the Publish icon.
- From the bottom of the Email column, select Automated Distribution.
- Before you set the rules for automatic distribution of email invitations, you’ll see key requirements listed. Without fulfilling these requirements, you will not be able to continue.
Here’s what you need to review:
- Create a folder:
- On the SFTP server linked to your account, create a folder named with the project title and SID in this exact format: Example-123. (You can find the SID within the survey participation link [survey_no=123] or by hovering over the project name in All Projects.)
- Once the folder is set up, click Validate to check if the connection is confirmed.
- If the project is successfully connected to your folder, you’ll see a confirmation message. Otherwise, an error will be displayed. In this case, please revisit the project and folder names.
- Create email template(s):
- To set automation rules for invitation and reminder delivery, the email templates for each need to be ready to go.
- Review templates that are available under (surprise!) Available Email Templates.
- If you do not see / have not yet created the right invitation/reminder(s), you may ‘click here’ or click Email Templates in the top right corner to create them now. Learn more.
- Next, you’ll see all the files uploaded to your SFTP server.
- Choose a file to proceed with mapping and setting up the automation rule. As needed, preview the file before you choose.
If you don’t have any files uploaded on your SFTP server yet, you can upload and map a test file with the relevant column headers. Note that the sequence of column headers is important in setting up the automation rule and cannot be changed later.
- Next, choose to send either a Single-Use Link or Multi-Use Link email invitation. Here’s what you need to know before you make the choice:
- Single-Use Link
- Each Single-Use Link only allows a single response.
- Single-Use Links should not be sent to group email addresses.
- These invitations should not be forwarded.
- Multi-Use Link
- Multiple/duplicate participation (ballot box stuffing) cannot be prevented.
- Each invitee will have different links that can be used multiple times.
- Single-Use Link
- Click on Continue.
- Under File Mapping, map fields and choose email templates for all invitations and reminders.
- Email Address: Select the column that will include participant email addresses.
- To use the same email template for all participants, enable ‘Would you like to use the same template for all the invites?’.
- Participant Language: You’ll only see this option if your project is multilingual. Within your distribution list, you’ll need a column that identifies the participation language for each email address. You can send multilingual email messages, too.For example:
Email Address Participant Language firstname.lastname@example.org English email@example.com Spanish
- Email Template:
- Choose the template you have created under Email Templates. Choose a different template for every language available in your project.
- For each language, hover to preview or edit your selected.
Learn more about customizing Email Messages.
- Click on ‘Use this template to send Reminders’ if you’d like to use the same template when sending out Reminders, too.
- Reminder Options: As desired, choose to send reminders to non-participants with different customized templates for each. Up to two reminders can be scheduled automatically. You may choose to:
- Select a template you have customized under Email Templates.
- Edit a previously saved template and save it under a new name.
- Mail Merge: If you have included Mail Merge fields within your email invitation, map the column for each mail merge variables used within the email content.
If you are not seeing the Mail Merge step, you have likely not entered the mail merge code in the email content section. If you want to include these values in your message, edit your content within Email Templates.
- Pre-Populate Questions: If Pre-Population is used in your project, you will see this step. Map each column in the file with the correct question. If there’s a mismatch between the file content and possible answer options, data will be blank for that field. For alternate options, set up Mismatch Rules under Automation Settings.
On the last step of the wizard, you can check the mapping before moving forward by clicking the Preview Mapping button in the top right corner.
- File Selection: Choose which files will be used to send out email invitations.
- All Files: Email invitations will be sent to all email addresses in every file uploaded.
- Latest file: Email invitations will be sent to email addresses in only the most recent file.
- Files Uploaded in last # Hours/Days: Email invitations will be sent to email addresses in files uploaded in the last X Hours/Days.
Hours/Days are calculated based on the time/day of the scheduled invitation.
- Selected Days: Email invitations will be sent to email addresses in the files that were uploaded on a selected day or days. Add multiple days by clicking on the plus icon.
- Unsent Files: Email invitations will be sent to email addresses in any files that were never used before.
- To use the same set of files every time, enable ‘Would you like to use the same file for sending email invitations?’.
If you have selected Unsent Files, this toggle will be disabled by default.
- Randomize Invitations: Choose to send invitations to addresses randomly selected from the uploaded file(s).
- If you’d like to send invitations to randomly chosen email addresses, enable ‘Would you like to send invitations to randomly selected addresses?’. The following options will be displayed.
- Set the sample size by defining the number or percentage of records you’d like the invitation to go out to.
- Choose whether to enable ‘Send Invitations even if the filtered count is less than this value’, if you’d like the invitations to go out even when the total number of available (valid, subscribed, unique) addresses is lower than the sample size specified above.
- Next, you may choose to apply Touch Rules. This option helps you to avoid over-surveying by filtering out those who have recently participated or received email invitations. Learn more about Touch Rules.
- Now, schedule delivery of your invitations and reminders: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or a Custom schedule.
- Pick your Start Day
- Reminders: Schedule up to two reminders up to seven days apart.
- End Rule: Choose to end this automation rule on a set date. After this date, no more invitations will be sent.
- Mismatch Rules: Choose what should happen if a response field in your file is blank or does not match any answer option in the mapped question.
- If blanks are the only issue, send.
- If mismatch fields are the only issue, send.
- If any blanks are found, do not send.
- If any mismatches are found, do not send.
- Send invitations only to records without any mismatch or blank.
When this option is enabled, you may choose to receive an error file of any blanks/mismatches at up to 10 email addresses.
- Expiry Rules: Choose to expire invitations at a set date and time. Use this feature when the project will remain active but the invitation should not.
- Email Alerts: Send an email for any/all of the following events.
- Send a confirmation email after every successful invitation batch is sent.
- Send a confirmation email after every successful reminder batch is sent.
- Send a notification email if the automation fails.
You may choose to send any alerts to up to 10 alternate email addresses.