Email bots are like your best SDR - automated assistants that nurture your leads from chat, determine interest, and pass only the hot leads on to your sales reps. You can build out your bot emails with chat data from Drift Intel and when you get a reply your bot will interpret the response. If there is positive intent, the bot automatically cc's the right sales owner into the conversation.
The first step to get started with Drift Email bots is to connect your Email Inbox. Navigate to Settings > Bot Accounts to connect your Gmail or Outlook account.
To avoid unwanted or private conversations flowing into your inbox, we suggested that you refrain from using a personal inbox. Additionally, the inbox needs to be connected to a "user" account with a password. We can't connect to aliases or distribution lists. For best practices, you'll want to use a subdomain and utilize a real person. I.E. Taylor at Your Company. This makes your emails more human and conversational.
Once you have connected your Bot Email Inbox, you'll want to set up your DKIM. This step is done internally with your IT team. This grants Drift Email access to send emails on behalf of your domain. For further reading on Setting up DKIM, you can read about it here.
If you're using Marketo as your Marketing Automation Platform, you can seamlessly integrate with Drift Email Bots. If you haven't already set up Marketo (for reply management in Drift Email) please see this help doc.
Your Marketo Admin will need to allow access to bulk lead export API. This should be done on the Marketo end and will not affect your Marketo or Drift Email billing.
You'll also need to build your Marketo segmentation, or a smart list of contacts you're going to enroll in the campaign. This is also where you will suppress any contacts who you do not wish to receive your communications.
Depending on the type of Email campaign, you may want to add lists based on the bot responses. For example, if you're sending out an abandoned chat campaign with the call to action being "Reply to speak to a BDR" you can create a Marketo list for "hot leads" and a list for "not interested" responses. For more information on Marketo Targeting, click here.
Building your Campaign and Skills
To create a new campaign, select the envelope icon from the left side bar (second from the top).
On the audience tab, you will see the option to select a list from your MAP. You will see a preview of how many people are in the list. Please note: you can use a Marketo static or smart list.
The Emails tab is where you will build your sequence of emails. By default, the campaign will include 4 emails with a series of set delays. This is simply a suggestion - there really is no limit to the number of emails you can have in a campaign.
Click into the first email to customize it with photos, emojis and personalization tokens.
You can change the delay between between Emails by clicking the number above the email subject.
You can scroll down to add a second Email to your campaign.
On the sender tab, choose what Email address and name you'd like the Emails to come from. Only Emails connected as Bot inboxes will appear here.
To test an individual Email in your campaign, click on the specific Email and select Send Test Email. This will be sent to the Email you're logged in with. Currently, there isn't a way to send a test to a different Email address.
Alternatively, if you'd like to test an entire series of Emails, select Send Test Campaign on the top right hand part of the screen. You don't need to turn your campaign on to test, but you will need to publish your changes to have the most recent version of your Emails reflected in your test.
When testing your Email Bot, your Emails will appear in the your inbox instantly without the delays you have set up.
What happens if someone replies to my email?
When a lead applies to your email, they will automatically be removed from the email sequence and not receive any further emails.
Building Bot Actions
Your bot actions live on the right side of your campaign builder. You’ll notice that yes, no, and other have pre-built responses you can use. You can also edit these or add custom additional responses.
To edit a reply, click into the box.
You can customize the text and add links and emojis here.
If you want the bot to send a reply immediately on your behalf, chose send a reply. Click the drop down to draft a reply, which will create a draft in your inbox that you can edit and approve before sending.
Tip: we usually recommend sending a reply for yes/no responses, and creating a draft for other so you can customize it before sending.
To CC a specific rep on the bot reply, you can have a static individual per reply (maybe this campaign is only worked by one SDR) or you can use lead owner lookup to cross reference your MAP and CC them into the conversation. It is a good idea to have a fallback email in case we cannot find the lead owner in Marketo.
Tracking tab - for each bot reply type, you can customize the actions that will update your MAP (in this example Marketo).
You can add the contacts to a specific list based on their response and/or update a specific field based on their response. We recommend having a custom list based on each response.
Ready to send it? Click the toggle in the top right to turn both bot replies and email sending on. Note: to test the bot replies, turn bot replies on while leaving email sending off. When email sending is turned on, all contacts in the list will be enrolled.
Replies in the Inbox
If reply is ___send a response:
When you choose to send a response automatically this is how it appears in your inbox. The response will say scheduled before it's sent then completed once it's been sent successfully.
If reply is ___ send a draft:
When you choose to draft a response (rather than send a reply), this is how it looks in your inbox. The emails will be tagged “needs review” and you can edit the text and click approve tasks to send.
Before you go live, ensure the following:
- That you have turned on both email sending and bot replies.
- That your integration is connected under Settings > Integrations.
- That your Bot Account has a connected Email.
- That you have suppressed any contacts in your MAP that you don't wish to enroll in your campaign.