About this Guide

This guide contains information you need to set up both your email marketing account and your internal email server for optimal reply mail management (RMM). It also contains conceptual and procedural information for using the RMM feature.

Audience

This document is intended for users of the RMM feature. This guide contains instructions that an Internet Service Provider (ISP) or Network Administrator can use to configure the changes so that reply emails are sent to ExactTarget's reply mail management processing mail server.

Reply Mail Management

This section provides conceptual information about RMM. After you configure this feature to operate in your account, RMM manages replies to the email jobs you send. RMM processes the reply automatically, if appropriate, and forwards the message if the message requires personal review.

You can perform parts of the configuration in the ExactTarget application interface. Other parts require help from your ISP.

Prerequisites

Please contact your ExactTarget relationship manager to request a Sender Authentication package or a request for RMM services if you have not purchased the SAP product. The relationship manager will forward the SAP request or RMM access request to the provisioning teams. This needs to be completed prior to updating the MX records for your reply domain. You will also receive a DNS template showing the official ExactTarget DNS values that can be referenced when you contact your ISP.

What Is Reply Mail Management

Reply mail management is a feature that automatically manages replies (including those from auto-responders) and leave or unsubscribe requests received in response to your emails.

You configure your account to use a special Reply-To address in your emails. When a subscriber manually replies to the address or when the subscriber's account automatically replies, the email message goes to the Reply-To address you created.

When the Reply-To address receives an email, RMM applies a series of Match-Action rules to determine whether the email is an out-of-office reply, auto-reply, or unsubscribe request and acts on the message according to how you configured the feature.

RMM also allows you to do the following:

  • Forward an email to different users depending on different circumstances.
  • Conditionally auto-reply and control the content of that auto-reply message.

You configure RMM on the Reply Mail Management screen, accessed from the Admin tab of the ExactTarget application. This includes adding additional terms to the ones already listed in this document, if you have that feature enabled. Contact your ExactTarget representative if you have any additional questions regarding this feature and how to add it.

RMM is effective in addressing automated replies produced by nearly all email software in use today. However, due to the use of non-standard protocols by a few mail clients, RMM might not address 100 percent of auto-replies. In most situations, RMM handles more than 90 percent of auto-replies.

Reply Mail Management Workflow

RMM can support the forwarding of attachments in certain instances. Please contact your ExactTarget representative for more information on enabling the use of attachments with RMM.

Reply Address Definition

When you configure RMM in the ExactTarget application, you specify the Reply-To information that RMM uses:

  • Email Display Name: The reply name appears in the From field of your subscriber's email client (such as Microsoft Outlook) when the subscriber replies to your email. The Email Reply Name should not be an email address. To encourage interaction with your subscribers, use an individual's name from your organization, such as a member of your customer service group. You can see an example of this in the Why Use Reply Mail Management section.
  • Reply Subdomain: The subdomain is the portion of your URL that points to ExactTarget's email reply rules. For example, a company with an email address structure of name@example.com creates a subdomain of reply and adds it to the box provided onscreen to create reply.example.com.
  • Email Reply Address: The reply address appears in the From name of your subscriber's email client when the subscriber replies to your email. While this information appears in the format of an email message, it is not a valid email address on its own. The address directs the reply to RMM for processing. This address can be defined in the Reply Mail Management feature or via a Sender Profile. If you use a Sender Profile to define the Email Reply Address, you can enable the email message to use a multitude of email reply addresses.
  • DNS Record Redirect Complete: You must complete DNS (Domain Name System) Record redirect to ExactTarget before this feature can be activated. Your ISP will help you with this process. You must also contact your ExactTarget representative in order to enable your DNS record redirect.

Reply Rules

When you configure RMM, you indicate how you want the reply rules to identify and respond to the replies that subscribers send:

  • Delete auto-replies and out-of-office replies. If you select Yes, RMM deletes messages that contain any of the following terms in the message header, email Subject line, email From address, or the first 200 characters of the email body. If you select No, RMM forwards the messages to a forwarding address that you specify.

Out of Office Terms

Undeliverable:

auto-response

autoresponse

automated reply

auto-submitted

auto-generated

auto-replied

inter-application

auto-reply

auto reply

autoreply

auto response

out of office

out-of-office

automated response

autosvar

automatisk svar

abwesenheitsnotiz

absence notice

out of the office

automatica

holiday

holidays

out on vacation

out of the office on vacation

automatique

automatisk

automatiskt

autoresponder

auto-reposta

reposta

automatica

automaticka

away from the office

away from my office

  • Unsubscribe Manual Requests: If you select Yes, RMM unsubscribes the email address from your account if the message contains any of the unsubscribe terms in the email Subject line or the first 200 characters of the email body. If you select No, RMM forwards the messages to a forwarding address that you specify.
  • Terms: If you select Yes for Unsubscribe Manual Requests, you can select the unsubscribe terms that cause RMM to unsubscribe the email address. You can also select Common Misspellings to allow RMM to unsubscribe email addresses that contain misspelled unsubscribe words. See the Reply Filters table in Step 5 of How to Configure Reply Mail Management. The checkboxes include the terms below:
    • Unsub
    • Unsubscribe
    • Remove
    • Opt-Out
    • Leave
    • Common Misspellings
      • unsube
      • unsu
      • unsubscribed
      • unsubscribe!
      • suscribir
      • renove
      • opt out
      • optout

International Character Support

RMM can recognize and process double-byte Unicode characters as part of your reply rules. While RMM does not handle translation, it does allow you to create rules using these characters and acts accordingly on any matches. Contact your ExactTarget representative if you want to use this feature with your RMM configuration.

Automated Response Email for Remaining Replies

When you configure RMM in your account, you can specify whether a reply to your message should generate an acknowledgment. For example, you can choose to have the system send an automated response to each email that is not identified by one of the reply rules. If you choose to send an automated response, you may select the default response or create a custom response. For example, the default response contains this text:

 

Thank you for your email. We have received your
comments/questions and we will reply as soon as possible.
**************************************************
This is an automated response. Please do not directly reply to this email.

You can also choose to use a triggered send for the reply. For information on using a triggered send, see the Triggered Email Guide for End Users

Your reply mail management instance must be configured by ExactTarget to allow for the use of triggered sends. Please contact Global Support to discuss this configuration. 

Note that if you configure Reply Mail Management to automatically forward an email message to an email address, that email address becomes the From address for the automatic reply. For example, if the sales@example.com email address receives an email and that message is automatically forwarded to acruz@example.com, the automatic reply to the email sent to sales@example.com appears to have been sent from acruz@example.com

Routing Address for Remaining Replies

When you configure RMM in your account, you enter an email address to receive all the messages that were not identified by one of the reply rules. These messages are forwarded to that routing address even if you send an automated response.

Using Auto-Forward

Reply mail can be automatically forwarded to:

  • A user from the multi-connect From list
  • A user-defined name/email address.

This process updates the To information in the email header but retains the From email header information of the original message. The RMM system delivers the message as if it originated directly from the author of the email.

You may include the following items, but use special caution with these values:

  • A personalization string (see Using Personalization Strings with AMPscript) - the following personalization strings are supported:
      • _RMM_Headers
      • _RMM_ReplyBodyText
      • _RMM_ReplyBodyHTML
      • _RMM_ReplySubject
      • _RMM_JobID
      • _RMM_ListID
      • _RMM_BatchID
      • _RMM_SubscriberID
      • _RMM_RecipientEmailAddress
      • _RMM_RecipientSubscriberKey
  • AMPscript (see the AMPscript Guide)
  • A static name

The content of the forwarded message may be:

  • The body of the reply email.
  • A started or paused triggered send email. A send-time attribute called _replycontent contains the first 10,000 characters (including markup) of the body of the reply email.
  • An HTML email.

You can configure auto-forward information in the sender profile.

Why Use Reply Mail Management

The RMM feature saves your organization a great deal of time, money, and frustration by automating the management of incoming messages received by your reply-to email address.

Imagine that your marketing department sends out 5,000 emails on a Friday. Without the RMM feature, on Monday morning, the staff must manually manage tasks such as out-of-office replies, auto-replies, auto-forwards, and unsubscribes-not to mention individual customer responses.

Using RMM is much more efficient than managing replies manually. A great percentage of the replies can be handled immediately and automatically. That means you are getting work done right away-not waiting until Monday. You don't even have to see certain emails because you have configured RMM to respond to these emails in specific ways. Customers feel they are getting one-on-one attention, a quick response, and actions geared toward their needs and preferences.

Reply Mail Management has definitely helped Store ABC, for example. Just one year ago, employees were manually managing out-of-office replies, automatic replies, automatic forwards, and unsubscribe requests. Now these responses are handled by RMM rules. Out-of-office replies, bounces, and automatic replies are detected by rules and deleted. Unsubscribe requests are also deleted by rules after each person is unsubscribed automatically. This is very helpful to the company, because unsubscribe requests must be honored within a certain amount of time.

Store ABC configures RMM so that replies that are not filtered out are responded to by auto-reply customized messages.

Thank you, John, for your reply on April 14, 2010. We have received your comments/questions and will reply as soon as possible.

While you are waiting, we have added 50 purchase points to your account, so you may want to stop by

Store ABC
WXY Avenue
Memphis, TN 37501

And don't forget our Internet site at example.com

Thank you!
Henry Roof
Manager, Marketing Department 

___________________________________________________________________________________

%%ReplyContent%%

In this example, personalization strings and AMPscript are used to personalize each email. The AMPscript personalization string %%firstname%% was replaced automatically with "John".

Procedures

This section contains information on the procedures you need to perform in order to configure
reply mail management. 

You must specify a reply subdomain, request the appropriate DNS changes, and configure your RMM settings to use this feature. Creating a Sender Profile is optional when working with the AIM package.

/Global/Documentation/6721/Sender-Profile.jpg

How to Specify a Reply Subdomain

Specify the reply subdomain to which the reply email should be directed.

For example, if you send your emails from user@example.com the reply subdomain might be reply.example.com.

How to Request DNS Changes from Your ISP

You must change the MX record so all replies sent to your messages redirect to the ExactTarget RMM servers for processing. Contact your ISP and ask that it make the following addition to your zone file:

S1 Instance

  • (reply subdomain) IN MX 10 reply-mx.exacttarget.com
  • reply.(reply subdomain) IN MX 10 reply-mx.exacttarget.com

S4 Instance

  • (reply subdomain) IN MX 10 reply-mx.s4.exacttarget.com
  • reply.(reply subdomain) IN MX 10 reply-mx.s4.exacttarget.com

S6 Instance

  • (reply subdomain) IN MX 10 reply-mx.s6.exacttarget.com
  • reply.(reply subdomain) IN MX 10 reply-mx.s6.exacttarget.com

S7 Instance

  • (reply subdomain) IN MX 10 reply-mx.s7.exacttarget.com
  • reply.(reply subdomain) IN MX 10 reply-mx.s7.exacttarget.com

Replace (reply subdomain) with the reply subdomain you selected in How to Specify a Reply Subdomain

Your ExactTarget relationship manager will assist you in configuring your domain for use with the RMM feature.

How to Configure Reply Mail Management

Use the following steps to complete the Reply Mail Management screen:

  1. Click the Admin tab.
  2. Click Account Settings.
  3. Click Reply Mail Management. The Reply Mail Management screen appears.
  4. Complete the information in the Reply Address Definition section:
    Email Display Name Display name of the Reply-to address.
    Reply Subdomain Domain you selected in the How to Specify a Reply Subdomain procedure.
    Email Reply Address Reply-to address you created in the How to Create a Sender Profile procedure.
    DNS Record Redirect Complete Select Yes after your ISP complete the DNS changes you requested in the How to Request DNS Changes from Your ISP procedure.
  5. Complete the information in the Reply Filters section:
    Delete Auto-replies and Out-of-office replies Determines whether RMM deletes emails that are identified by the auto-reply or out-of-office filters. The default setting is No.
    Unsubscribe Manual Requests Determines whether RMM systematically unsubscribes email addresses from emails that are identified by the unsubscribe filter. If you select Yes in this field, you must select the terms included in the unsubscribe filter. The default is No.
    Terms Determines which terms the unsubscribe filter searches for in the email body and subject. If you chose Yes for Unsubscribe Manual Requests, you must select the terms that you want to specify here. Refer to the Unsubscribe Terms section for  list of unsubscribe filters.
  6. Select an option in the Automated Response Email for Remaining Replies section. These settings can be overridden by using Sender Profiles.
    • If you choose Default Response Email, you can click the view email link next to that option and see how your default email looks, as shown in the Automated Response Email for Remaining Replies section.
    • If you select Create Custom Response, you must define the response email. You can click the define email link next to that option to get a starting point for your email. 
  7. Complete the information in the Routing Address for Remaining Replies section:
    Forward remaining replies to Contains the email address RMM uses to forward emails that are not identified by the filters. For example, you might enter a customer service email address in this field to forward unfiltered replies to cusomter service.

For information on using a triggered send, see the Triggered Emails Guide for End Users.

How to Create a Sender Profile

The sender profile contains the name and address that the message appears to be from in the subscriber's email client. This procedure is necessary to manage replies from systems that use nonstandard protocols to reply to the From address instead of the account's Reply-To address. When working with the AIM package, you can create a sender profile as an optional step.

Follow these steps to create a sender profile:

  1. Click the Admin tab.
  2. Click Send Management.
  3. Click Sender Profiles. The Sender Profiles workspace appears.
  4. Click the Create button on the Sender Profiles toolbar.
  5. Complete the information in the Properties section:
    Name Name of the sender profile. Use this name to identify the sender profile in the ExactTarget application.
    External Key A unique value that identifies the sender profile. Use this value to identify the sender profile with an API call.
    Description Description of the sender profile. Use this description to further help identify the sender profile within the ExactTarget application.
  6. Complete the information in the Sender Information section:
    Sender

    The From Name and email the system uses for sends associated with this sender profile. Valid values include:

    • Choose from list If you select this value, you must select the From Name and Address from the list of users.
    • Use the specified information If you select this value, you must enter information in the From Name field and From Email field.
    Choose from list Use the drop-down list to choose the list of users.
    Use the specified information

    Be sure to read the warning on this screen before choosing this option.

    • From Name Enter the From name. For a subscriber-specific from, enter a personalization string. For example, if the from name for a subscriber is stored in the ownername attribute, enter %%ownername%%
    • From Email Enter the From email address.

    Both the From Name and the From Email options may be used with a personalization string, AMPscript, or a static name, as stated in Using Auto-Forward. Use caution with these three elements.

  7. Complete the information in the Custom Reply Mail Management Settings section. If you do not see this section but would like to use this feature, contact your ExactTarget account representative.
    Use custom settings below Select this checkbox to override some account-level RMM features using the data that follows.
    Use direct forwards

    Select this option if you want to turn off, or make unavailable, the account RMM features. If you select this value, the remainder of the Custom section becomes gray, or unavailable.

    Note: You are not able to select the Use direct forwards checkbox unless you select the Use custom settings below checkbox first.

    Forward to

    This section lets you decide who to forward your message to. You can choose one of these options:

    • Choose from list Allows you to choose a multi-connect From to forward to. The list must already exist in order for you to choose it.
    • Use Specified Information Deselects the Choose from list option. Enter information into these fields:
      • Name Enter the name of the person you want to forward to.
      • Address Enter the email address of the person you just entered.

    These specifications may be AMPscript, personalization strings, or constants. Use caution with these.

    Forwarding using triggered send

    You must select this checkbox in order for the

    Triggered send to forward field to be available. Triggered send to forward Displays a list of all published triggered sends. Choose the triggered send to forward.

    Note: Depending on your account settings, if you do not select this checkbox, the program forwards the raw email to the reply address.

    Use Auto Reply

    Select the Use Auto Reply checkbox if you want to use the auto-reply feature. Even if you have set up the auto-reply feature in RMM, this feature will not function unless you select the Use Auto Reply checkbox. This option overrides your account settings. Choose Use Auto Reply but not Reply Using Triggered. Make sure that Use Auto Reply is not selected if you want to turn off auto reply.

    • Reply using triggered Uses triggered sends.
    • Triggered send to auto reply with Remember that even if you have auto-reply set up in RMM, the auto-reply feature will not function unless you select this Use Auto Reply checkbox.
  8. Click Save.

If you use On-Your-Behalf sends or enhanced sender profiles to build dynamic from names as part of your email sends, RMM can direct valid replies to those dynamic from names instead of the default email address. Contact your ExactTarget representative if you want to use this feature with your RMM configuration.

How To Test Your RMM Configuration

Important: All the previous procedures in this document must be complete before you can perform this procedure: Use these steps to test your RMM configuration:

  1. Log in to ExactTarget.
  2. Create a test list that contains your own email address. See ExactTarget's online help for more information on creating lists.
  3. Send an email to your test list. See ExactTarget's online help for more information on sending emails. You receive the email message in your email client.
  4. Open the email message in your email client.'
  5. Reply to the message. Enter one of the words that should cause RMM to identify the message for automatic processing. For example, if you configured RMM to unsubscribe by manual request, enter Unsubscribe in the subject line of the email.
  6. Send the message.
  7. In the ExactTarget application, open your subscriber list and confirm that your email address has been unsubscribed.
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Last updated by ryan.williams at 08:04, 2 Jun 2014