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Autoresponder Basics

By Shelley Lowery

Autoresponders are one of the most widely used promotional tools on the Internet. They're also known as mailbots, automatic email and email on demand. They were derived from the very popular fax on demand and designed to automatically respond to any email message received with an automatic response.

Autoresponder programs vary from autoresponse messages set-up within an email program to a script that runs on a server. This script may run a web-based autoresponder system that utilizes a web page form or it may run with a pop email account on a server.

Autoresponders can assist you in automating many of your daily tasks including:

Customer Follow-up

Following up with your customers is an important part of providing good customer service. Not only is it an essential part of developing a good relationship, but it will also enable you to introduce new products.

Although sending out a personal message to each of your customers may not be possible, an autoresponder can provide them with the illusion that your message was personally sent.

Order Confirmations

If you're processing orders online, manually sending each of your customers an order confirmation can be very time consuming. By creating a standard letter and placing it within an autoresponder that allows personalization, you can eliminate the need to manually respond -- while at the same time, provide good customer service.

Articles for Publication

Writing articles and allowing them to be freely published, with your bylines, is a highly effective promotional strategy.

If you would like to enable your visitors to have access to your articles around the clock, place them within an autoresponder. This will enable your visitors to send an email to a specified email address and instantly receive your article.

Autoresponder Courses

In addition to the standard autoresponder systems, there are also autoresponders that can send an unlimited number of follow-up messages. These follow-up messages can be automatically sent out at predetermined intervals. In other words, you can set up your autoresponder to automatically send out a new message each day for as many days as you would like.

This powerful technology is currently being used by some of the top online marketers to reach thousands of potential customers. As you may know, it may take up to seven contacts with a potential customer before closing a sale. By setting up an autoresponder and offering a free autoresponder course, you can completely automate a portion of your marketing efforts.

Selecting a quality autoresponder service:

When selecting an autoresponder service, there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration to ensure maximum performance:

• Personalized responses - Gives the recipient the illusion that your message was sent specifically to them.

• Automatic follow-ups - Studies have shown it may take up to seven contacts before closing a sale.

• Unlimited text length - If you are inhibited by the amount of text your autoresponder may contain, you may be forced to revise a successful sales letter, ultimately costing you business.

• Free Unlimited updating - You must have the ability to update your autoresponders.

• Automatic Notification - You must have the ability to track your ad's performance. You should be instantly informed each time someone requests your information.

Although many web hosts provide their clients with one-time autoresponders, if you're planning on sending out follow-up messages, you'll want to use a more advanced autoresponder.


An advanced autoresponder system that will enable you to not only personalize your messages, but it will also enable you to send an unlimited number of follow-ups.

Cost: Advertising supported


A one-time autoresponder system with a unique advertising opportunity. This autoresponder is also an ad exchange that enables autoresponder owners to receive free promotion by exchanging ads. Your ad runs on other members' autoresponders and their ads run on yours.

Cost: Advertising supported


AWeber provides an outstanding autoresponder system that will enable you to take complete control over your autoresponder marketing campaign. This professional autoresponder service provides you with all of the following:

Send HTML or text messages
Subscriber signup via email or web form
Easily import and export opt-in subscriber lists
Automatic removal links within each message
Unlimited message length
Completely personalize your messages
Advanced autoresponders with six follow-up messages
Statistics and graphs

If you'd rather have your own autoresponder system that resides on your server, I recommend using AutoResponse Plus:

Autoresponders are one of the most widely used marketing tools on the Internet. Although they can't completely automate your business, they can certainly save you hours of valuable time, and increase your profits considerably.

Copyright © Shelley Lowery 2002.

About the Author:

Shelley Lowery is the author of several successful ebooks including Web Design Mastery - An in-depth guide to professional web design. Ebook Starter - A Complete Ebook Design Kit, and eZines: A Complete Guide to Publishing for Profit. Subscribe to Etips and receive a free copy of her highly acclaimed ebook, "Killer Internet Marketing Strategies."

You have permission to publish this article electronically, in print, in your ebook or on your web site, free of charge, as long as the author bylines are included.

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