Using the « Email Follow-Up Add-On » for automated follow-up email messages to customers purchasing or downloading your Downloadable Products

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Installation of the Email Follow-Up add-on for DownloadPlus is the same as for the DownloadPlus extension itself.

This Add-On requires an active CRON job on the Magento Store to automatically process the follow-up Emails, please see the Magento Documentation here for how to configure the required CRON job...
Update DownloadPlus to the most recent release prior to installation of this Add-On. Updates are available in your Customer Account.

This Add-On monitors the downloading activities of your stores Customers and Guest Visitors. Whenever a Customer purchases a Downloadable Product, or one of the other Events occurs, a related Follow-Up Email is queued to be sent to the Customers Email Address.

Guest Visitors are supported such that for downloading a Sample or a Link-Sample of a Downloadable Product the Email Address is asked for when there is a Terms of Use active for the related download type.

Each Follow-Up Email is able to be queued with definable resend frequency so that after x-Days the same Follow-Up Email is being resent.

Management and Monitoring of the Follow-Up Email Queue is made possible through the related Follow-Up Email Queue on Downloadable Products page that allows to preview, send, mark as bounced or unsubscribe queued Email Messages. Email Addresses marked as bounced are kept in the Stores database and used for verification of guest email addresses entered on a Terms of Use page. That way, over time, non-existing Email Addresses are learnt by the Add-On and further use of these Email Addresses prevented.

A link inside of each Follow-Up Email allows the recipient to unsubscribe future messages, as well as directly from the Customer Account in the Store Administrator.

The Downloadplus Configuration Options for System » Configuration » Catalog » Downloadable Products Follow-Up Emails will have the following entries that control the automated sending of Follow-Up Emails:

Following Events trigger a Follow-Up Email:

  • First Download of Downloadable Product Sample
  • First Download of Downloadable Product Link Sample
  • First Download of purchased Download
  • Before date-expiration of purchased Download (if the purchased Download has a date expiration)
  • After date-expiration of purchased Download (if the purchased Download has a date expiration)
  • On Downloadable Product Update
  • On Download of a additional Product Download
  • On availability of a new Magazine Issue (in combination with DownloadPlus Magazine Add-On)
  • Before expiration of a Magazine Subscription (in combination with DownloadPlus Magazine Add-On)
  • After expiration of a Magazine Subscription (in combination with DownloadPlus Magazine Add-On)

The configuration option allow to select a Email Template for each of these events, as well as a sending frequency in days. To have a sending frequency with multiple days after the event, separate the days with a colon ',': 1,5,7 will then send the related triggered Follow-Up Email 1 day after the event, another one 5 days after the event and the last one 7 days after the event.

To disable a specific Follow-Up Email either leave the Follow-Up frequency empty, or select – Transactional Email disabled– for the related template:

Transactional Email's related to the DownloadPlus Magazine Add-On also allow to directly test the Email or preview it in a pop-up window for verification of the Email Design:

Customization of the Email Templates is the same as for all other Magento Store transactional Emails, see also the Magento Manual here for more on this...

If there is Follow-Up Email configured for Samples or Link-Samples of Downloadable Products a non-logged in Visitor that is accessing the related Download will be asked to provide his Email Address if there is Terms of Use page configured for the related Download Type:

In this context you may also add related wording to the Terms of Use page that explains the use of Email Address and required the Visitor to agree to the use of his Email Address for these Follow-Up Emails. A requirement that may be necessary because of local eCommerce laws and regulations.

Allow Email Address that already bounced

When set to No all Email Addresses entered on the Terms of Use page from Guest Visitors or not-logged in Customers are validated against the Email Bounced list of the Add-On. If a entered Email Address is listed in the Email Bounced list then it is not accepted for the related download and the related download will not be accessible until a valid Email Address is entered.

Recipient Email Address for Testing

Enter any Email Address here that shall be used for testing the Follow-Up Email Delivery, the address entered here will replace the customers email address. Leave this field empty for production use.

Enable Logging

Enabled logging of the Add-On event processing and email sending into the logfile app/var/log/downloadplus_email.log. The following activity is logged into this logfile:

  • CRON Job processing of events
  • Sending of Transactional Email (Follow-Up Emails)
  • Creation or update of Follow-Up Email events

Use Newsletter » Follow-Up Email Queue on Downloadable Products to get to the management of the Follow-Up Email Queue:

Here all active waiting Follow-Up Emails are listed, and following actions allow interaction with them:

  • Preview: Preview the Follow-Up Email as it will be sent to the recipient.
  • Send now: Send it now, it will be re-queued as per the sending frequency in its configuration options.
  • Unsubscribe: Cancels this Follow-Up Email and any subsequent queued messages to this recipient. If the recipient is a registered Customer, his customer account will be unsubscribed from future messages as well.
  • Email bounced: Marks that Email Address as invalid, and adds it to the list if invalid Email Addresses for use in validation on the Terms of Use pages when collection the Email Address from guest visitors or non-logged in Customers. Any future follow-up emails to that email address will then be cancelled.

All Customers with Accounts on your store are per default subscribed to the Follow-Up Emails. So after installation and preparation of the Add-On no additional work is required.

Each Follow-Up Email carries a Link leading to a Unsubscribe Page where the Customer will be unsubscribed from future messages. To manually unsubscribe, or re-subscribe a Customer Account, open the Customer Account and find the related option in Current Downloads in the Email Follow-Up on Downloadable Products section:

These are the Variables that are usable in the Email Templates of the different Follow-Up Email Messages:

Data ObjectData available with example
customerAll data of the related Customer: {{var}}
orderAll data of the related Order: {{var order.increment_id}}
order_itemAll data of the related Order Item: {{var}}
productAll data of the related Product: {{var product.sku}}
linkpurchasedAll data of the related purchased Link: {{var linkpurchased.section_title}}
linkpurchaseditemAll date of the related purchased Link Item: {{var linkpurchaseditem.link_title}}
downloadThis holds the Download Title in the language of the related store: {{var download.title}}
downloaddetailThis holds Download Details of the related Download: {{var downloaddetail.version}} {{var downloaddetail.detail}}
storeAll data of the related Store: {{var}}
unsubscribe_urlThis is the Unsubscribe URL to the unsubscribe page:: {{var unsubscribe_url}}

Please also see the default Email Templates for more and how the available Data Objects are used in it.

As all of the follow-up Emails are being generated and sent automatically, using the Magento CRON job, preparing of the Add-On might seem difficult. Here are some hints on how to prepare the Add-On and also your customized Email Templates on your own setup:

  1. For testing only there is no Magento CRON Job necessary, to let the Add-On do its job you may also simply trigger the Magento CRON by accessing http://<your store address/cron.php
  2. Make test purchases or downloads: The Add-On then will generate the related Queue Entries.
  3. Update one of your Downloadable Products with a new file, then trigger the Magento CRON as in (1). That will generate the related Follow-Up Email for the update in the Queue List.
  4. Use Preview in the Queue List to preview your Email Message. You may change your Email Template and go back to the Queue List and preview the Email Massage again, the preview is always generated from the current Email Template on-the-fly.
  5. To send one Follow-Up message immediately use Send Now in the Queue List.

All follow-up Events are processed between 18:00 and 22:00 of your stores time by the Magento CRON Job. For testing you need to enable activation of the Events at every Magento CRON run (and to trigger the Magento CRON as described above). For that look into the file app/code/local/Pisc/DownloadplusEmail/etc/config.xml and comment out the default pattern and uncomment the test patterns (that will process the Events at every Minute):

               	<cron_expr>0 22 * * *</cron_expr>
              	<!-- For testing use this pattern: -->
               	<!-- <cron_expr>*/1 * * * *</cron_expr> -->
               	<cron_expr>0 20 * * *</cron_expr>
              	<!-- For testing use this pattern: -->
               	<!-- <cron_expr>*/1 * * * *</cron_expr> -->

We recommend use of the AEO Scheduler Extension that allows to manually trigger a CRON Job: Use System » Scheduler » Job Configuration to run one of the following CRON Jobs:

  • downloadplusemail_process_event_queue is processing the events related to Downloadable Products like when an update is available.
  • downloadplusemail_process_expirations is processing upcoming expiration and expired purchased Downloadable Links.
  • downloadplusemail_process_followup is creating and sending the Transactional Emails created by the above CRON Jobs.