Best Practices: Autoresponses and Acknowledging Action - cStreet Campaigns

Best Practices: Autoresponses and Acknowledging Action

Whenever someone takes any sort of action on your site—from asking a question to submitting a grant to RSVPing for an event—it's important that they receive some sort of acknowledgement for having engaged in some way.

The form of this acknowledgement will vary depending on the action performed (the acknowledgement that someone gets for making a large donation should obviously be different from the one given for joining a mailing list), but the first step in this process will almost always be the autoresponse.

By default, NationBuilder will send out autoresponses any time a user takes ‘action’ on your site, thanking them for that action (whether it's signing up, making a donation, signing a petition, volunteering, etc).

The content in NationBuilder's default autoresponses is very generic, and should be customized to suit your actions and the tone that your organization takes with supporters.

Organizations should also recognize autoresponses as important opportunities to deepen supporter engagement: afterall, the user has already performed the initial action, so the chances are much higher that they can be moved towards further ones.

Autoresponses should be crafted with this in mind, focusing on 3 things:

  • Immediate validation of the person’s action (i.e., a ‘thank you’)
  • A single clear call-to-action (don’t provide a list of asks: pick one thing that you want the user to do and focus on that)
  • A link between the just-completed action and the next one you’re asking them to do (e.g., “Thanks for joining the Greenbelt Fund; click here to activate your account! Have you heard about our Local Food Symposium? Register for it here”)

To change an autoresponse, go to the specific action page (e.g., feedback), then go to [action] settings → Autoresponse (e.g, Feedback settings → Autoresponse)


Here you can see the default autoresponse, edit it how you see fit, and choose which broadcaster you want the autoresponse to be sent from.

You can also disable the autoresponse altogether by unchecking the “Automatically send signer an email” box.