Email Automation Plugin

Email Automation plugin enhances feature sets of Oempro and allows it to be a key solution for the next generation email marketing industry: Smart email marketing. The traditional email marketing is sending a bulk email to email addresses in your subscriber list. While this approach allows you to reach a wide audience, conversions are usually low.

But the next generation “smart email marketing” allows you to send the right message, to the right person, at the right time. Email Automation plugin takes you to the next era.

This help article explains how to install and get started with the Email Automation plugin. You will find detailed installation instructions as well as getting started chapters below.

For any questions and feedback, don’t hesitate to contact us via support@octeth.com

Technical requirements

In addition to Oempro’s technical requirements some additional PHP extensions are required:

In addition to Oempro’s requirements, Email Automation plugin also requires bcmath and mcrypt PHP extensions to be installed. In Fedora/CentOS environment, you can add these extensions to your PHP easily by executing;

$ yum install php-bcmath php-mcrypt

Downloading the plugin

The Email Automation plugin comes with 5-day trial which can be downloaded from the Plugin Store. To unlock all features and have a perpetual license, you can purchase the Email Automation plugin from our plugin store.

If you have purchased the Email Automation plugin, you can download it from the client area. If you are interested in the trial version, you can download it from the plugin store by clicking “Free Trial Download” button.

Installing plugin

Once the “octautomation.zip” plugin file is downloaded, locate it on your computer (usually in “Downloads” folder). Unzip it. You will see a directory named as “octautomation”. Follow these steps now:

  1. Open your FTP program
  2. Connect to your web server which hosts Oempro
  3. Go to Oempro directory on your web server
  4. Go into “plugins” directory
  5. Upload the “octautomation” directory inside “plugins” directory
  6. Check and be sure that /data/ directory inside Oempro has writeable file/directory permissions

Email Automation plugin is now uploaded to your Oempro. It’s time to activate and enable the plugin. Follow these steps:

  1. Login to your Oempro admin area
  2. Click “Plugins” link on the top menu drop down menu:
    plugins
  3. On the plugin list page, find the “Email Automation Plugin”. It should be displayed with a label “Disabled” (1):
    plugins2
  4. Now click “Enable” link next to Email Automation Plugin. This is labeled as (2) above.
  5. Once “Enable” link is clicked, you will get an error message about the plugin license file:
    Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 14.31.52
  6. This error indicates that the “license_octautomation.dat” file is missing inside Oempro’s /data/ directory. If you have purchased Email Automation plugin, this license file can be download from the client area. After downloading the plugin license file, simply upload it to Oempro’s /data/ directory. If you have downloaded the trial version, simply click “request a trial license” link on the error message. Plugin will request a trial license from Octeth and create the license file for you. Please note that only one plugin trial license can be generated for each Oempro license.

Once the plugin is enabled, you can see the “Email Automation” link on the left side menu of Oempro’s “Settings” section:

ss2

Setting up the Email Automation plugin

Setting up email delivery settings

Before switching to the user area and start tracking people, you need to setup general plugin settings in the admin area. Simply click “Settings > Email Automation” link in the admin area. On the plugin settings page, you will be asked to choose what delivery method you wish to use. For Mailgun, enter your Mailgun API key and the custom domain you have created in your Mailgun account. To learn more about learning your Mailgun API key and custom domain, simply login to your Mailgun account and the API key will be shown to you on the main control panel page. Simply copy your Mailgun API key and paste it to the corresponding settings field in Oempro. You will also need to enter the custom domain you have created in Mailgun.

If you are using a different delivery method such as Mandrill, SMTP.com, PowerMTA or standard SMTP connection, enter required credentials for the delivery method you have chosen.

Once these settings are entered, click “Update Email Delivery Settings” button on the bottom. Plugin will try to connect to your Mailgun account and send a test email to your Oempro administrator email address.

Setting up Mailgun web hooks for tracking

Email Automation plugin uses Mailgun’s web hooks to get notified about email opens, link clicks, unsubscribers, spam complaints and hard bounced email addresses. In order to communicate with your Mailgun account, you need to set Webhooks in your Mailgun account. Follow these easy steps to complete the Webhook setup.

  1. In Admin area > Settings > Email Automation > Settings section, copy the web hook URL displayed to you:
    ss20
  2. Login to your Mailgun account and click the custom domain (on the right side) you want to set up web hooks for.
  3. On the custom domain overview page, click “Tracking” link on the top menu
  4. Scroll down the page and enable “Tracking clicks” option as well as “Tracking opens” option. Also paste the Web hook URL you have copied from your Email Automation plugin settings page:
    ss21
  5. Repeat this step for “Bounces”, “Unsubscribers” and “Complaints” sections which can be accessed from the top menu.

Once this is done, Mailgun will start communicating with the Email Automation plugin and share usage data.

If you are going to use a different delivery method such as Mandrill, SMTP.com or PowerMTA, please follow the instructions displayed to you on settings page.

Setting up email delivery limits for user groups

Email Automation plugin is designed to be offered as a service to your Oempro users (your customers). You can define separate email delivery limits for each user group you have created. In this way, you can offer different service plans to your customers. In order to setup email delivery limits for the Email Automation plugin, simply click “User Groups” link on the admin settings page left side menu:

ss3

By default, access to this plugin on all user groups will be disabled. You will need to enable this plugin for each user group you prefer. To enable access, simply click a user group on the list and then click “Permissions” tab. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and check the “Email Automation Plugin” checkbox. Then hit the “Save” button:
ss4

Once you hit the “Save” button, Oempro will display an error message telling you that some validation errors exist. Click “Limits” tab. You will see “Email Automation Delivery Limit” field alerted for you. Enter the number of emails a single user can send every month. For example, if you want to let each user that belongs to this user group to send 1000 emails a month, simply enter “1000″. If you want to give “unlimited” email delivery service for this user group, simply type “-1″:

ss5

Once this is set, click the “Save” button and save your user group settings. Repeat this process for each user group you want to provide email automation service.

That’s all. You have successfully installed and configured your Email Automation plugin. Now your users (or you) can login to the user area and start tracking people and send messages, at the right time, to the right person.

Enabling geo-location detection

We did our best to make this feature enabled by default. However, because of the licensing issues with third party IP-to-location data providers, we have been forced to make this feature available but optional. You can purchase Max Mind’s “GeoIP City” IP-to-location database (we are not affiliated with them!) to enable this feature. Once you purchased the IP database, simply upload IP database file (GeoIPCity.dat) inside Oempro’s /data/ directory. Do NOT change the file name or file name case. Then edit Oempro’s /data/config.inc.php file and change the following setting:

define('GEO_LOCATION_DATA_PATH', '');

to:

define('GEO_LOCATION_DATA_PATH', APP_PATH.'/data/GeoIPCity.dat');

Send Engine Setup

In order to automate the email sending process, your server must execute the Email Automation plugin send engine repeatedly. This done by your server cron job server. It’s similar to setting up Oempro’s send engine. Simply edit your server cron job list and add the following line:

* * * * * php /path/to/oempro/plugins/octautomation/cli/sendengine.php > /dev/null
If you need help for setting up cron job, please contact us via support@octeth.com

You can also execute the send engine manually from your server command line. This is good for tracking the email delivery performance from your web server to your Mailgun account. Simply login to your server via terminal (or ssh) and type the following command

$ php /path/to/oempro/plugins/octautomation/cli/sendengine.php

This command accepts some optional parameters. To learn more about options, execute it with -h parameter:

$ php /path/to/oempro/plugins/octautomation/cli/sendengine.php -h

You will get a similar response from the send engine:

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 17.44.19

Email Automation in User Area

Once you login to the user area, you will notice that “Email Automation” menu item has been added to the top menu:

ss6

Click the “Email Automation” top menu item. Because this is the first time you are accessing the email automation section, plugin will show you the “Getting Started” page which guides you to insert tracking JavaScript code on your website pages.

Email Automation plugin can gather any kind of person data from your website pages (pages that have user information such as post-login pages).  Simply copy the JavaScript code and place it to your website pages. It’s as easy as placing Google Analytics tracking JavaScript code to your website page. On the getting started page, you will also find detailed explanation of securing your code, tracking unlimited amount of person information (such as age, name, current plan, etc.). Do your best to pass as much info as you can about your users. In this way, you can setup “smarter” emails.

Once the tracking JavaScript code is placed on your website, plugin will inform you about the detected data:

ss7

Now, you can click “People” link on the left side menu to browse detected people.

Managing people

On the “People” section, you will see the list of detected people (users in your web app, website, e-commerce website, etc.). By default, “email address” and “last seen date” columns will be shown. But you can customize the list layout and filter results:

ss8

People Browse Page
Sections Explained
(1)
You can filter and narrow down the people list based on different criteria.
(2)
You can show/hide more columns on the people list to get a quick view of your users.
(3)
The list of detected people will be listed here
(4)
Ready to create and activate your first message? Click this button

Managing filters

The most powerful feature of Email Automation plugin is the flexibility on targeting. Simply click “Show/Hide Filters” link on the people browse page to open filtering box:

ss9

Now, you will see the filter box. By default, no rules have been set. You can easily set your own rules by selecting target info and corresponding values. For example, if you are planning to target passive users who haven’t logged into your web app for more than 30 days, you can setup such a similar rule set:

ss10

You are limitless about how you can setup your rules. Here’s another one targeting users who are from United States, Canada, Australia or United Kingdom:

ss11

Once you hit the “Apply filters” button, Email Automation plugin will list you all people matching your criteria.

Managing people list columns

By default, plugin will show you the email address and last seen date info of all people you have in your list. You can add/remove more columns to the list. Click “Show/Hide Columns” link:

ss12

Choose columns you want to display on the list and uncheck columns you want to hide from the list. Then click “Update columns” button:

ss13

Now you will see all checked columns on the people list.

Person profile page and person management

You can take a more detailed look on every single person detected in your user account. Simply click to any of the detected person and you will be redirected to person profile page. This page shows you all information you have about the person. In addition to info you pass through tracking JavaScript code, Email Automation plugin will also try to detect some additional info such as geo-location of the person (if geo-location is enabled), web browser and version, etc.

You can delete or unsubscribe a person on this page.

Creating your first automated email

Okay, your tracking code has been placed, a few people have been tracked and now it’s time to setup your first automated message. Simply click “Create Message” button on the top right corner of the page in Email Automation section.

The email create page is quite similar to popular email apps such as Outlook. We did our best to keep it similar so that your users will be able to get used to much easier.

The first thing when creating your message is setting up criteria for your message. Just like in people browse page, set your criteria. In this example, we will setup a criteria set targeting your users who haven’t been logged into your web app for more than 30 days which can be considered as “passive users”:

ss14

Once you start to setup your rules (1), plugin will search your people list to calculate estimated number of recipients for your message (2). In the above example, there are 649 estimated recipients (detected so far) for your message with a rule set of all users who haven’t been seen for more than 30 days and less than 60 days.

The next step is to enter your email preferences including from/reply-to name and email addresses, email subject and most importantly, the email content.

The email editor toolbar is quite similar to your word processing software. However, there are some useful tools for you which we have explained below:

ss17

Email Editor Toolbar
Sections Explained
(1)
You can switch to "Source View" mode to edit HTML code manually. It's useful for pasting your HTML code which have been coded on a third party app.
(2)
You can switch between "Plain Text" and "HTML" content modes.
(3)
You can personalize your email content with any detected info about the recipient. You can choose and insert a merge tag from this toolbar icon.
(4)
Before activating your message you can send test emails to yourself or your colleagues to be sure that everything is okay and ready for the show.

Once you are done with editing your email content, you can either save your message as “draft” or “activate” it immediately. If it’s saved as “draft”, it will not be sent to any people matching the criteria of this message.

If it’s saved and activated, people matching your message will start receiving your emails, only once! Email Automation plugin will monitor your people list for any new matching person and send your message immediately.

The message report screen

Once your message gets sent to recipients, Email Automation will start collecting useful statistics such as message opens, link clicks and many more. These statistics can be found under “Message Overview” page which can be accessed from “Messages” section (by clicking “Messages” link on the left side menu).

ss18

This page will show you all metrics collected for your message. You can see the list of recipients for geo-location detections (if enabled), email opens, link clicks and unsubscriptions at the bottom of the reporting page.

In order to edit your message, simply click “Edit Message” button on top right corner. You can also pause or delete your message from the “Options” menu next to “Edit Message” button.

Administrator Reporting

As an administrator, you will probably be interested in getting overview usage metrics about your users. To reach administrative reports, simply login to your Oempro admin area and then click “Email Automation” link inside the top drop down menu:

s23

Then click “Email Automation” link on the drop down menu. You will be redirected to the administrative reporting section where you can get information about how many messages being sent by your users:

ss24

Any questions or ideas?

We hope you like our Email Automation plugin and it adds a value to your business. We designed it in such a way that it can be offered as a service to your customers, or you can use it for your own needs. It’s a quite powerful and valuable plugin for businesses, especially for e-commerce, SaaS and mobile apps.

For any questions and technical support request, please contact our support team via support@octeth.com. Please don’t forget to include your Oempro and Email Automation plugin license keys in your email.

For feature requests and ideas which you believe that they will make Email Automation plugin much better, please contact us via hello@octeth.com.

Thank you.