In addition to building out an Email Bot Campaign in Drift, you can also use Email Bots to manage replies to marketing emails that you send from your marketing automation platform (MAP). You might choose to send marketing emails from your MAP instead of Drift for the following reasons:
- You want to send to more than 15,000 contacts at once
- Your security team prefers that you send emails from your MAP
- You already have a great email flow built in your MAP (and don't feel like rebuilding it in a Drift Email campaign)
Using an Email Bot Skill, you can still benefit from the Email Bot processing your replies, sending an automatic response, CCing someone on your team, and tracking the reply back to your MAP.
1. Subdomain setup
First, ensure you have your subdomain connected. In Drift Email, navigate to Settings > Reply Domains. You should see a green "Valid" indicator on your subdomain.
Next, in app.drift.com, navigate into your Settings > Conversations > Email Sending Domains. You should also see your subdomain is "Verified" here.
If your subdomain is not verified in one or both of these places, follow these steps to set it up.
2. Choose your Bot skill
In Drift Email, navigate to Skills > Create Skill. You should see a section for Bots.
You have a few choices of Bot Skills to create, depending on your use case:
- Lead follow-up: this is the most common bot skill choice. This bot skill categorizes replies into Yes, No, and Other, and allows you to make updates in your MAP for each reply type.
- Webinar: same functionality as the lead follow-up skill, except you have a fourth option for reply categorization: Recording. This will help you catch responses such as "I can't make the event, but can you send the recording?"
- "Track Only" skills: if you choose to build a "Track Only" skill for the webinar or lead follow-up use case, this will still automatically categorize the replies and let you customize updates to your MAP for each reply type. However, this type of bot skill will not send back an automated response or CC someone on your team.
3. Set your filters
On the Emails tab, name your bot skill. It will automatically be set to only look for Human Reply (so you don't have to worry about autoresponders or other types of emails going through your bot).
You'll need to set two additional filters:
- Source: this should be the email address you'll use to send the outgoing emails from your MAP. This email address needs to use the subdomain that you connected to Drift, and should be set up as a Bot alias, as seen in step 1.
- Subject text: here, you should include the subject lines of the individual emails you'll be sending from your MAP. If your subject lines include any tokens, just take the portion of the subject line that does not contain any tokens.
These two filters will ensure that you're pulling in replies to the correct marketing emails. Once completed, click Next in the lower right.
4. Bot responses
Note: if you're using either of the "Track Only" options for your Bot skill, skip this step.
On the Responder tab, you first want to select a bot inbox. This should be the same as the "source" you set in the previous step.
Next, customize your response text for each category (Yes, No, Other - and Recording if you are creating a Webinar bot skill).
On each response, you can choose between a couple options for how the response is handled.
Send a response will immediately send your response back to the contact. Create draft for Review will not send the response automatically. This will instead place the reply in your Drift Email Inbox, notify you, and allow you to manually approve each reply. More on using the Inbox Review Queue here.
We typically recommend using the automatic send option.
You can also choose to set a delay - you can send immediately, after 5 minutes, or after 15 minutes. We typically recommend sending instantly.
After customizing your first response, select Add another response option to move on to the next category. Feel free to make the copy as conversational as you like - we recommend keeping it short and written like a human.
On each response, you also have the option to CC a member of your team in a few different ways:
a. Lead Owner Lookup through your MAP. Select your MAP from the dropdown menu, and then search for any lead/contact owner field you'd like to reference. This field must contain the email address of the appropriate owner.
You will also need to set a fallback address, so that the reply has somewhere to go in case a contact does not have your selected lead owner field populated.
(Optional: you can also use the "CC a Person" option if there is someone else on your team that you'd like to include on every response, in addition to the lead owner/fallback you have selected.)
b. "CC a Person" only. If you want to CC one or more specific people on your team, you can also use this option without the lead owner lookup.
You may not need to CC someone on every response type - for instance, if someone replies "No", it may not be necessary to pull in a lead owner. Likewise, if you're using the Webinar use case, it may not be necessary to CC someone for every person who replies "Yes" to your webinar/event invite.
5. Tracking to your MAP
Click over to the Tracking tab. From the "Track my contacts" dropdown menu, select your MAP.
You can then customize how each response type is tracked back to your MAP. For each response type, you have a few options:
- Add to a list - select any static list in your MAP
- Update a field with a static value - choose any field in your MAP and input the value you choose. For "boolean" field types, this should be either "true" or "false".
- Map Drift Email fields - choose a data point from Drift to send into a field of your choosing.
Some popular choices for list and field updates (these are all optional - you should update contacts in your MAP based on what will be most helpful to your specific use case!):
- For Webinar use cases, send contacts to a list of event registrants
- For "yes" responses, update a lead status field to indicate that the contact has engaged
- Map things like the "date of reply" and "text of reply" from Drift to track responses in more detail
Once you’ve completed your tracking, you can click Finish.
You can now toggle your skill on in the top right if you’re ready to start processing replies. Drift will not take any action until you have sent the email(s) from your MAP, and contacts start replying.
That's it! Once you've hit send on your marketing emails, you can see your replies in your inbox.
Want to learn more about how to manage and view your bot replies? See this article.