Knowledge Base

Email Rules

The Email Rules section is where you define the rules for emails that will be sent to the customer.

You can also edit existing rules by clicking the Edit button (pencil icon) next to any Rule.

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NOTE:  If you have a new ASIN on Amazon that has not yet had a sale, it will not yet be available in your ManageByStats.  If you try to save an Email Rule with an ASIN that does not yet exist in ManageByStats, you’ll get an error.  To check if an ASIN has imported into the system yet, check under Products > ASINs.

You can still create SellerMail Email Rules without the ASIN.  There are two scenarios.

SCENARIO 1: You have only one (1) product, and it's new on Amazon and does not yet have a sale.  In that scenario create the Email Rule but do not add the ASIN, and set the Email Rule to InActive.  Then, when the ASIN is available in MBS, add the ASIN to the Email Rule and set the Email Rule to Active.

SCENARIO 2: You have multiple products on Amazon, but you've just launched a new one that does not yet have any sales.  In that case, before you create an email sequence use the MBS Chrome Plugin to download your new product, using the Missing Products Downloader.

See the MBS Chrome Plugin page in this knowledge base for more.

The following section will describe how to create and edit Email Rules.

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(See Settings > ASINs section for more on when MBS automatically imports new products.)

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Note the following button in your Email Rules:

MBS can automatically add an unsubscribe link to each email, which allows the recipient to unsubscribe either from receiving further emails related to that specific order, or from all future emails.

You can disable or enable the unsubscribe feature for all emails by clicking this button in Email Rules (Image/Shown).

Amazon also adds an unsubscribe link to each email, which only allows the customer to opt out of all future messages. Amazon has been taking communication with buyers more seriously of late, and it may be advantageous to disable the automatic insertion of the MBS unsubscribe link. See the relevant Buyer-Seller Messaging section of Seller Central for more info.

 

Terminology

Email: This is one exact instance of an email sent from SellerMail to one recipient.  This is the same as any other email definition – a single email that has been sent.  

Email Rule: A rule with a Name and ID, selected filters and conditions, and some mail-merge text (fixed text and possible one or several variables mixed in with the text).  In SellerMail all your Email Rules are listed in the SellerMail/Email Rules tab.

 

Best Practices

The question is often asked, How many emails should I send?  Years ago the best practice was 3 to 4, but now, honestly, it’s more like 2 to 3 -- or even 1 to 2.  One that thanks them for their purchase (maybe after Shipped) and gives them any additional materials you need/want them to have as part of the purchase (an eBook on recipes, for example), and then one that makes use of Amazon's Review Request feature (see the Review Request page).

The subject line is important for Opens, as it will determine whether your customer deems the email important enough to open and read.

SEND LIMITATIONS

As of this writing Amazon allows you to send 600 emails each day, + 5x orders for the day.  For example, if you have do 100 orders for a day, you can send 1,100 emails for that day according to Amazon’s limits.

Note: ManageByStats automatically throttles the send rate so as not exceed this limit.  It balances this with any campaigns you might be sending through SellerBlast.  See the SellerBlast section in this guide for more on sending through that service.

 

Columns

Columns will be covered in the following sections, but let's get a quick definition of each column first.

Id: the unique ID given to that Email Rule.  Each Rule will have its own ID.

Satus: whether

After this Trigger Event: these are the events that cause the email to be composed and sent.  They are,

Msg Name: the name you've given the message.

Email Subject: the subject line for that email rule.

For SKU/ASIN: you'll be able to specify SKUs or ASINs you want to restrict the message to.  This way the message will only be sent in response to trigger events for the selected product(s).

Exclude: vice-versa, you can also elect to add SKUs or ASINs to which you do NOT want to send the email.

Delay: is how long after the trigger event you want the message to be sent.  For example, say you have a trigger of "Shipped", and a delay of "1 day".  The message will be queued (Scheduled) when the item is shipped, and then sent a day later.

Sender: this is the all-important Profile you've assigned for that Email Rule.

 

Creating Rules

To add a new rule click the + button:

 

Your first step will be to select how you create the new email rule:

Note: Once you’ve clicked the + and before you create a rule, there is no Cancel option.  If you change your mind and want to Cancel, you can click the Menu again, SellerMail > Email Rules, and it will take you back to the prior screen.

 

Start From Scratch:  choose this option if you want to create a new message from scratch, with all fields blank to be filled in.

Copy An Existing Rule:  if you have an existing rule  of your own that you’d like to use, choose this option to create a copy.  You can then edit the new rule as desired.

You can also use the "Duplicate" option for a Rule you'd like to copy:

Use Your Template:  this will be available only if you’ve created templates.  See the Templates section.  If so, choose this option if you want to use one of those as the base for your message.

Use Our Templates:  ManageByStats has a wide selection of templates you can use.  If you select this option you’ll get a list of templates by subject and can choose which will best fit your needs:

 

Note: if choosing one of our templates, if you don’t like it upon review, you can always delete that template and add another.  In this way you can sample and check the templates until you find the one that’s right for you.

 

Once you’ve made your selection, click Add at the bottom of the rules editor to save the Email Rule to your Email Rules list.

Note: do this before making any other edits.

 

Editing Rules

After adding a new Rule, one of the first thing's you'll notice is a message to add a Profile:

This message will show if you have any Email Rules with a "None" for Sender.  If you click the "click here" link it will take you into that Rule under the section where you can add the Sender Profile:

Note: you can do that now, or do it as part of the overall edit step for your new rule.

The following will cover editing a new rule.

Once your new Rule is added, or if editing an existing Rule, click the edit button (pencil icon) next to the Rule to edit it:

 

Throughout the Rules editor screen there are small info (i) and question (?) boxes.

When you click one a flyout dialog pops up with info on that particular field:

You can use these to get quick, on-the-spot info on fields when editing.

 

We’ll now describe each field of the Rule editor.

 

Editor Fields

Id:  a unique identifier for that message rule, assigned by the system.

Status:  there are three basic Statuses:

How Status Works

For Test the emails that would be sent are tabulated.  For Save & Test (see below), the message is sent from the MBS servers to your test email address.  The purpose of the Test is so you can see what the message looks like before sending it to an actual customer.  This means the message does not go through Amazon.  For this reason, test messages can occasionally end up in your Spam or Junk folder.  This happens because the message shows as coming from the domain “managebystats.com”, and your “from” info is another domain.

When a rule Status is Active it is sent directly through Amazon.  Amazon then sends it to the customer using the cloaked Amazon email address for that customer, and shows it as coming from the Amazon domain.

You can find Active messages that have been sent in your Amazon Seller Central account under Messages.

Message Name:  this is for your use only, and is an internal reference for the email message.

Email Subject:  the subject line of your Message, which your buyers will see.  You can use variables in the subject, such as ${order-id}.  See variable options in Email Body below.

You can also use emojis in the Subject line, if desired.  To use an emoji, first place the desired emoji in the Email Body area, then highlight and Copy the emoji(s), then Paste into the desired position in the Subject line.  You can then go back and delete the emoji(s) from the Email Body.

Email Body:  this uses a standard, what’s called WYSIWYG editor (What You See Is What You Get).  In other words you can format the text and see it as it will appear, using the option toolbars above the email body, much like in Word or other writing programs.

You can hover over any of the buttons in the Editor to see what they do:

If desired you can also click the <> Source button and see the actual HTML.  If you’re comfortable working in HTML you can format the message this way.

When inserting a variable use the Insert … pulldown.  Place your cursor in the Email Body where you want the variable to appear and choose it from the Insert menu.

Here is a list of the available variables and what they are:

NOTE:

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IMPORTANT: The following variables are dependent on carrier information being available at time of send:

${carrier}
${tracking-number}
${tracking-link}
${estimated-arrival}

When using those variables know that, if we do not have the info the variable will not be populated.  Keep that in mind when crafting your rule.

For example, you might say something like:

"If we have the tracking number available, it will appear here: ${tracking-number}"

or some variation like that.

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Additional Info:  you'll notice some of the variables end in “-url” and some end in “-link”.

Any variable that ends with “-url” will show that particular URL in the body.  Any variable that ends with “-link” will conceal the URL behind whatever text you specify.  You specify text by adding a colon and text after the “-link”.

Here’s an example:

The text,

… Thanks for shopping!  Check out more at ${store-url} when you have time!

Becomes,

… Thanks for shopping!  Check out more at http://www.amazon.com/shops/tigerpawmania when you have time!

And the text,

… Thanks for shopping!  Check out more at ${store-link:TigerPawMania} when you have time!

Becomes,

… Thanks for shopping!  Check out more at TigerPawMania when you have time!

In that case they’re directed to the URL link when they click “TigerPawMania”.

Send this email:  this is the number of days after the “after” trigger event (Purchased, Shipped, etc.) that the email will be sent.  Blank or 0 means the email will be sent out immediately.  You can do fractions of a day as well; for example, 0.25 is one quarter of a day, or 6 hours.

Note: we queue the emails and send about every hour.  Amazon then receives the emails and puts them into their own queue to send.  This queueing process adds a few hours to the overall sequence, so depending where the message falls in that sequence an “immediate” may still have a delay.  As well, an email with a short (6 hour) delay, may not send precisely 6 hours after the selected event (Purchased, Shipped, etc.).

After this Trigger Event:  these are the events (triggers) after which an email will be sent.  There are five basic events:

Best Practice: The Purchased trigger is best used for FBM orders only, as FBA orders are not released by Amazon until the item clears payment, thus causing the Purchased and Shipped triggered emails to be sent around the same time.

Out for Delivery will only work if the order is Fulfilled By Amazon.

About DELIVERED and OUT FOR DELIVERY (FBA ONLY) Triggers:
Note that several delivery carriers, including Amazon itself, do not always provide DELIVERY confirmation nor OUT-FOR-DELIVERY confirmation. This affects up to 50% of orders currently. When there is no confirmation, MBS cannot get the data needed in order to trigger the sending of these emails. We have built an automated action for these triggers so that if no confirmation is received within 11 days, the email will be sent anyway. Keep this in mind when selecting either of these triggers. A more reliable stable trigger to use is Purchased or Shipped. This data is always available.

For orders containing … SKU/ASIN:  here you can specify the products this email will apply to.  You can either enter these separated by comma (SKU or ASIN is fine), or you can make selections directly from the list with the “+ Select SKUs” button.

The system will insert the SKUs or group of SKUs you’ve selected.

Note:  you will not be able to add ASINs until they exist in your ManageByStats.  If you have a new ASIN on Amazon that has not yet had a sale, it will not yet be available in your ManageByStats.  If you try to save a Rule with an ASIN that does not yet exist in ManageByStats, you’ll get an error.  To check if an ASIN has imported into the system yet, check under Settings > ASINs.

See Settings > ASINs section for more on when MBS automatically imports new products.

Note Also:  even if the ASIN is not yet in the system, you can create Messages for that product, just don’t add the ASIN.  Create the whole rule as you would like it to appear, do not add the ASIN, and set it to InActive.  Then, when the ASIN is available, add it to the Rule, set it to Active and you’re all set.

 

At the bottom of the Rules Editor are the Save options, and statistics for that rule.  You can also see complete statistics under the SellerMail > Statistics section.

(You'll notice the + SHOW ADVANCED option.  Clicking that will open the Advanced Editor Fields.  See next section.)

Button options at the bottom of the Rules Editor are:

Save & Send Test Sample Email: clicking this button will send a test message to your Test email address (see Profiles section below for info on setting the test email address).  Note that if there is no actual order info available, variables in the Rules are not populated, and will instead say something like FIRST_NAME instead.

Save & Preview: saves the rule and opens a dialog box, showing what the email will look like when sent.

Save: saves the rule and returns you to the main Email Rules screen.

Cancel: cancels the editing, does not save changes since last save, and returns you to the main Email Rules screen.

Show Scheduled Emails On This Message: clicking this button will take you to the SellerMail > Scheduled page and show messages, filtered on this Email Rule ID, that have been scheduled for this email and that are queued for a later Send.

 

Advanced Editor Fields

Clicking the + SHOW ADVANCED option expands the Editor to show additional options.  You can then click the - HIDE ADVANCED to collapse the advanced options.

 

Following are the advanced fields.

 

and does not contain any of these SKU/ASINs:  allows you to specify products you want excluded.

Sender Profile:  you’ll notice the Email Sender pulldown list is the list of profiles you’ve created under SellerMail | Profiles (see below).  Email Sender will apply the “send from” email address from the selected profile to the message.

If you have created no profile under SellerMail | Profiles you will only see None as an option.  If no Profile is selected, SellerMail will  by default, use the admin account email as the “send from” and test emails.  The admin account email is the one you use to log in to ManageByStats, and can be found under Settings | Users.

Important:  the Email Sender must be an authorized sender in your Amazon Central account.

If you send a Test message it will send to the Test Email specified in the selected profile.

If you have a Logo uploaded to the profile (SellerMail | Profiles), and you insert the ${logo} variable in the Email Body, it will insert the logo where that variable appears.

If you do not specify an Email Sender (None) the system will, by default, use the admin account email as the “send from” and test emails.  The admin account email is the one you use to log in to ManageByStats, and can be found under Settings | Users.

If you do not specify an Email Sender (None), the ${logo} variable will not work.

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Repeat Buyer Type:  by default this is set to Ignored.  If you make a selection other options appear.

The selections for Repeat Buyer Type are:

Once you select a Repeat Buyer Type you’re given the following, additional options to configure:

Repeat Buyer: (appears only if a selection is made under Repeat Buyer Type)  This is where you specify the criteria for considering the customer a repeat buyer.  You can specify multiple criteria for the Repeat Buyer.  For example, you could select “1st purchase” and “3rd purchase”, and the email would be sent to those customers who are purchasing for the 1st time or the 3rd time only.

Within (formerly "Repeat Buyer Back Days"):  this is how far back the system should consider a customer a Repeat Buyer, per the criteria selected.  The default is blank, which means the system will consider the customer a repeat buyer if they have ever met any of the criteria.  You can specify ranges.  For example, if you enter 30 in that field, and set the Repeat Buyer for 2nd  Purchase, the system will look and see if the person has bought for the second time ONLY, and only in the last 30 days.  If so, then they will be considered to have met that criteria.  If, in that example, the customer bought the product 34 days ago, they would not be considered a repeat buyer.

Select the SKUs/ASINs this applies to:  if you’ve selected the “Selected SKUs” or "Excluded SKUs" Repeat Buyer Type, fill in the SKUs to which that will apply.

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Spent More Than:  you can restrict whether or not a message is sent based on price.  This lets you control emails sent or not sent when coupons are used, or when a product is on sale, etc.  You don’t need to use both fields, and can specify whether the buyer spent More Than or Less Than on an item.

Spent Less Than:  same function as Spent More Than.  Note, with Spent Less Than, if there is a Promotion that modifies the final sale price, we do not get that Promotion data from Amazon right away.  It can take a day or two for that information to be available.  Therefore, if the Rule is set to send with no delay, or a delay that ends up being less time than it takes us to get the Promotion adjustment, the Rule will act (Spent Less Than) based on the value available, which is to say it will consider the purchase price WITHOUT the Promotion adjustment.

LTV Greater Than: If specified, will send email only if the customer's LTV (Lifetime Value) exceeds this value. LTV is the total lifetime purchase value for the customer.

For Order Number Ending With:  this field is if you want to send only to orders ending in a certain number.  You can, for example, use this as a filter for split testing.  Leave it blank if not doing split testing. If you put in 12345, the message will be sent only if the order number ends with one of the digits 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5.  In that example, you could create the other message you’re testing against and set it to send when ending with 6, 7, 8, 9.  The combinations and variations are up to you.

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Limit To:  this is a powerful way of expanding or limiting how many emails are sent in SellerMail.

To use it, you need to understand these definitions:

Order: This is an Amazon Order.  It has a unique Order Number. Each order can contain multiple SKUs.

SKUs: (products), and each SKU can have multiple Items. (For example, you have a SKU for a baseball, and someone buys 5 baseballs.)

Items: (if quantity for a SKU is more than 1, then there are multiple items for that SKU).

Shipments: Each order can have multiple shipments, as items in the order may be sent from different warehouses on different days.

Trigger: A Trigger is one of these events: Purchased, Shipped, Out-for-Delivery, Delivered or Refunded.  Each of these events can trigger an email rule, which is why we call them Triggers.

Note: the "Limit To" selection applies to the Email Rule where it is set.  If you have multiple Email Rules, which you consider part of a sequence, be sure to set the 'Limit To' option for each Email Rule in the sequence.

We allow you to limit emails in the following ways:

Note: “One Email per SKU” is the recommended selection if you’re unsure which option to use. The remaining options can be considered advanced, and will send according to the following descriptions.

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Refund Status:  you can select whether this email is sent based on refund status.

Note: this Refund Status is not a trigger event.  In other words, setting a Refund Status does not trigger an email to be sent if the customer refunds.  Emails are triggered to be sent based on one of the “After” events.  The Refunded trigger (see the “After” events above) will send an email in response to a refund.  What Refund Status does is check the email after it has been triggered, and then sends (or not) the triggered message based on the set criteria (No refunds ever, etc).

NOTE: If you are creating a “Refunded” trigger message (After event set to Refunded), the Refund Status option is not available.

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Feedback Status:  You must be running the MBS Plugin for this filter to work.  See the section on Feedback & The Chrome Plugin for more on this.

Feedback has to do with Seller Feedback.

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Add An Attachment:  you can add an attachment to your message by clicking the Add Attachment button.

Note: the Add Attachment button will only appear after you have saved the rule.  You can then click the rule in Messages to edit it, and will then see the Add Attachment button is now available.

Note Also: Amazon has a 10 MB limit on total attachment size.  Due to the way files are packaged for transmission we impose an 8 MB size limit, which ensures the files will be under 10 MB when accepted by Amazon for the final send.  Therefore you’ll want to keep your attachment size under 8 MB for any one rule.

COUPON CODES

You can add a list of coupons to a SellerMail message.  This allows you to provide a list of coupon codes, which the system will then insert where you have this variable:

${coupon-code}

Each message will take the next code from the list and insert it.

To make a Coupon file, add your coupons to a CSV file, one coupon code per line, and save it as a CSV file.  Then use the “Upload Coupon CSV File” button to upload the file.

Lastly, add the ${coupon-code} variable where you want the coupon code to appear in the email

 

Unsubscribes

Note:  An unsubscribe link is inserted automatically by the system at the end of each email.  When clicked this gives the customer the option of unsubscribing entirely, or to unsubscribe from just that sequence of emails (for that order).

When they click the link the unsubscribe options look like this:

The customer is then added to the Unsubscribed list.

 

Advanced Advanced

For the very advanced users you can use what are called Regular Expressions, for both “Orders Containing” and “Exclude” (select BY REGEXP) to select multiple SKUs:

If you’re familiar with the syntax of Regular Expressions you can use this function to select multiple SKUs using specified criteria.  This is definitely something you’ll need to be familiar with if you’re going to use it, but if your computer skills are bitchin then you can use REGEXP to craft some detailed include and exclude operations.  For those unfamiliar, here’s a definition of the term:

“A regular expression, regex or regexp (sometimes called a rational expression) is, in theoretical computer science and formal language theory, a sequence of characters that define a search pattern. Usually this pattern is then used by string searching algorithms for find or find and replace operations on strings.”

 

Migrating From Another Auto-Mailer Service

If you’re migrating from another auto-mailer service to ManageByStats you can follow these simple steps. ManageByStats has made it easy to transition to SellerMail.

To migrate:

  1. Create duplicates of your rules from the other system in SellerMail.
  2. Set them with the same delays, and the same trigger event (such as Purchased, Delivered, etc.)
  3. Copy the email body from the other rule and paste it into the corresponding SellerMail message. SellerMail will convert the variables and formatting from the other system.
  4. Turn off the rules in the other system (but make sure they will send anything that was queued).
  5. Turn on (set Active) the SellerMail rules.

SellerMail will begin to process new orders, and your old system will complete processing emails from prior orders.