An autoresponder is a series of emails sent automatically to a mailing list based on specific rules at defined intervals. The process may start after a user subscribes to the sender’s email list or when a particular condition is met.

Marketers use autoresponder functionality to send both promotional and educational content at the right time without much work. With each email series, the sender should set out to address the concerns of their prospects and emphasize the benefits of their businesses, products or services.

How about an example? A marketer can set autoresponders so that 5 minutes after someone joins the mailing list, they receive a welcome email. Then, if subscribers shared their birthdates, the company sends them a birthday email with a unique offer. Besides, marketers use autoresponder to send emails predefined by subscribers’ action.

Abandoned cart email

What is the purpose of an email autoresponder?

An autoresponder series enables companies to build trust with their prospects. Autoresponders get a recipient to open promotional emails, visit websites, and eventually make a purchase. Most sites use autoresponders to provide their subscribers with the most relevant offers at the right time. Besides, this automation tech helps eliminate mistakes caused by human error when email scheduling is needed.

Advantages of autoresponders

Autoresponders come bearing gifts for marketers. Here is what they can do:

  • Turn new visitors into subscribers. Autoresponders offer an excellent communication line with new visitors on a website. Marketers provide valuable offers in these email series that entice the visitors to submit their names and email addresses. In exchange, users recieve exciting offers including: free reports, trial offers, no-obligation consultation, and more.
  • Establish stable and long-term relationships with subscribers. Autoresponders allow marketers to create automated messages and schedule them to go out to their subscriber lists on specified dates. This way, subscribers hear from the company frequently and look forward to future communication. This anticipation creates a unique bond between a business and the prospective customer.
  • Ensure continuous advertising without hiring new staff. Autoresponders take care of regular marketing email delivery to customers and prospects. And given that the process is entirely automated, there is no need to hire new people to do the job. So, a business has no extra expenses and earns a better return on investment.
  • Offer immediate follow-up. With autoresponders, a marketer can diligently follow-up with customers without leaving any of them out. These emails are automated, thus eliminating the possibility of missing customers or prospects who are on the mailing list.
  • Create repeat sales. Autoresponders ensure that there is constant communication with existing customers. Marketers use cross-selling and upselling to cause repeat sales.
  • Direct customers to websites or blogs. Marketers use autoresponders to direct subscribers to video channels, blogs, websites, discussions on socials and so forth. These different channels display information regarding a company and help the prospects or customers better understand the products or services offered by a brand. This results in both traffic and conversion increases as the users have access to facts that influence their buying decisions.
  • Help marketers access measurable results. Marketers can gain a variety of meaningful insights from autoresponders that help evaluate their strategies better. For instance, they help senders find messages that are read most, the time when most messages are read and so forth. In turn, marketers can tweak their email campaigns to ensure that content is personalized and higher engagement is achieved.
  • Ensure better delivery of marketing emails. Autoresponders eliminate any guesswork from email delivery. They are designed to ensure that all messages in the system are sent on time to all subscribers on a mailing list.
  • Help marketers increase brand awareness. Marketers can brand their email messages by adding their taglines, logos, physical addresses, and phone numbers to ensure that they emphasize their products or services to prospective customers.

How does an autoresponder work?

Marketers that use autoresponders have a lot of their email marketing automated. Autoresponders consist of two individual components that work together to achieve the primary goal. The first is the automated email campaign which includes marketing messages that are sent to subscribers when specific events or actions are triggered. Then there are the automation rules. These are triggers or actions the sender puts in place to determine when particular automated messages are to be sent.

For example, a business wants to follow-up on customers who made purchases by cross-selling and upselling. So, a sender creates a particular message and sets a trigger such as the purchase of a specific product. When a customer buys the item, the action is triggered, and the automated email is sent.

Businesses and websites can set up autoresponders to inform customers about special offers or new posts, send welcome emails or gifts to subscribers who have just signed up. One can also use them to send other email messages that keep the subscribers engaged. To get started, register and set up an email autoresponder in SendPulse.

How to create an email autoresponder series

SendPulse allows users to create or upload mailing lists and send sequences of emails to subscribers when they perform particular sets of actions. Typically, one can send different types of email autoresponders with SendPulse or create a custom event-based automation flows using Automation 360. Here’s how to create an email autoresponder in SendPulse.

Create an account

Register with SendPulse email service for free. Upload a mailing list and start creating your automated series. Click “Sign up” and fill out the required details.

Create new automation

Click “Create new automation” in the “Automations” tab to start with your autoresponder.

Select sequential automation and choose the type

With the free plan, you can set up three different types of sequential automation.

  1. Automated series. These are autoresponders that are triggered once a visitor subscribes to marketing emails through a subscription form. It may start with a confirmation email to verify the subscription, then a welcome email to onboard the newcomers. After a day or two, an introduction to the products or offerings of the business can follow. Typically, an automated series guides prospects through different stages of the sales funnelAutomated series
  2. Special date. These are automated messages sent to subscribers on special occasions. The trigger for these emails is a condition set out by the sender. These autoresponders target leads on days that are special to them. It could be a birthday, Father’s or Mother’s Day, etc. Special date
  3. Triggered email. A triggered email is usually sent after a recipient performs a particular action. The message is sent based on these conditions: email open, click on a link, and email not opened. It can be set up for a particular campaign and mailing list that one is monitoring (if there are several campaigns in progress). Triggered email

Fill in all the fields and add other channels if needed

To start creating the autoresponder, provide an automation name, recipient list, sender’s email address and name, the schedule for sending (days and specific times like Monday to Friday at 9 a.m.), email subject line and content. Import and edit or create a new email template for the campaign and activate SMS — if the recipients' phone numbers are available — or push notifications if necessary.

Send the autoresponder

Select if the autoresponder should be sent immediately when the event is triggered or at a particular time after the action.

Email autoresponder examples

Here are some examples of common email autoresponders:

A subscription confirmation email. This email is sent right after a user leaves their email address on a website. Marketers use this method to build a high-quality mailing list.

Confirmation email

A welcome email. This is an onboarding email for new subscribers. Marketers usually send it to give a warm welcome and shoe what their brand is engaged in.

Welcome email

A birthday email. This is a good chance to congratulate subscribers on their special day, increase sales and raise customers loyalty. Brands usually create special offers and give discounts.

Birthday email

Register and send an email autoresponder in SendPulse!

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