Autoresponder Tips

An autoresponder is useful for, well, responding to people who send you inquiries through email. They are actually more than just merely useful - they are an essential tool in any webmaster's toolbox. Used properly, they can enhance your visitors experience and virtually guarantee that they will come back time after time. Used improperly, they annoy people and push them away from ever coming back.

What distinguishes proper from improper use? People should receive messages when they would normally expect to receive messages. Here are some examples:

  • Proper: I expect to get a thank you message after signing a guestbook. I should only receive one message.


    Improper: adding my email to your mailing list because I sign your guestbook.

  • Proper: I also expect to get a message if I use a form on a website to send a message to the webmaster. This verifies to me that it is indeed more than likely to get to the intended person.


    Improper: again, adding my email address to your mailing list.

  • Proper: If I sign up for your newsletter I expect a thank you email and, of course, the newsletter.


    Improper: Adding my email to anything other than the mailing list which I asked to be added to. Also, sending anything other than the newsletter is generally improper although an occasional status email is acceptable. Never send separate advertisements unless it is clearly spelled out on the newsletter signup page.

  • Proper: Following your written privacy policy to the letter in regards to how the email address (and other information) is to be used, and to summarize that information on the page where it is asked for. You should also have a link to the privacy policy on every single page of your web site.


    Improper: Not having a written privacy policy and asking for information. Not explaining how the information is to be used on the page where it is asked for. Not following your written policies.

  • Proper: Including autoresponder links on your website to deliver articles and information to an email box.


    Improper: Using these links to add email addresses to your mailing list.

  • Proper: If you make articles available for reprint, it is always a good idea to include autoresponder links to make it easy for publishers to get those articles in a suitable format.


    Improper: Using these autoresponder links to add people to your mailing list.

  • Proper: Allow visitors to sign up for an email course using an autoresponder.


    Improper: Adding email addresses obtained in this manner to your mailing list.

  • Proper: Follow up for an order or other communication. For example, a "did you receive your order okay?" message a few days after the order was taken is excellent customer service.


    Improper: Sending more than an acknowledgement and follow up message. The person ordered something, he did not ask to be on your mailing, advertisement or nag list.

I am sure you see a major common thread in all of this - don't add people to your mailing list unless (a) you tell them you are doing to, (b) you give them the chance to say "no", and (c) they explicitly give their permission. NEVER assume your visitor wants to be added to your mailing list - make him explicitly ask by filling out a form, checking a box (off by default) or some other similar means.

Autoresponders have some excellent uses:

  • As an acknowledgement or thank you for something.

  • As a way to get something delivered in email form (reprint publishers love this method of obtaining articles).

  • As a way to deliver a series of something (like an email course) to someone.

One use of autoresponders that drives me crazy (and ensures that I will never return to that site) is common with contests. Let say I sign up to try and win a million dollars. I try and of course I don't win. Now I get these silly reminder messages for the rest of time, telling me in all manners that I've won, or almost won, or could win, or might win ... I usually hit delete a few times, then quickly unsubscribe.

All right, so now you know how to use and not to use autoresponders. So where do you get them? They are available all over the internet. If your site is hosted on a paid host (such as Addr.com), you may find that they offer unlimited autoresponders. If so, take advantage of them. These are generally single-message autoresponders.

GetResponse.com has an excellent autoresponder service. They offer a limited function free version, and one of the most functional paid versions that exist. Their prices are reasonable and the autoresponders always seem to work perfectly.

AWeber.Com has another excellent autoresponder service. Of course, any good guestbook package has the ability to send a customizable message to the signer. Good forms packages also include this ability.

Now, what do you put into an autoresponder messages? Whatever you said or implied you would, plus some ticklers to try and get your visitors to come back to your site.

Thus, if you send back a thank you message for signing a guestbook, you can also include a short list of some of the other features available on your website. Perhaps a small article or even a link to a "free gift" for signing the guestbook.

Remember, don't make the two mistakes of autoresponders. First, do not waste your opportunity. You are sending a person a message which he asked for or expects, so be sure to include more than just "thanks for signing my gustbook". At least put the URL of your site, and include a paragraph about it.

Second, do not abuse your opportunity, as that will just get the message deleted. I've found it is generally NOT a good idea to put blatant advertisements in these messages, especially for pay-to-surf, MLM or affiliates. Why not? I believe these things are best left to your website or to a newsletter or ezine specifically tailored for them. A major exception is in a newsletter itself, as, like magazines and newspapers, advertisements are expected in order to cover the costs of the publication.

In summary, autoresponders are an excellent tool which all webmasters would be wise to use to their advantage. Just be sure to use them properly.

About The Author

Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets. This website includes over 1,000 free articles to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.

Web Site Address: http://www.internet-tips.net

Weekly newsletter: http://www.internet-tips.net/joinlist.htm

Email Marketing - Building A Mail List

Millions of people use their computer everyday as a form of communicating with others by... Read More

Autoresponders - One Simple Trick That Will Improve Your Results

Autoresponders, or responders, are simply programs that allow you to send out pre-written emails which... Read More

Three Phases to Email Sensitivity

The neurophysiological dynamics of understanding each email message are very complex. From that complexity, three... Read More

Choose Your Email Marketing Software Wisely

Successful online business can't be led without email marketing. Many people know that it... Read More

Direct Marketing Strategies for Holiday Email Promotions

Tis the season to leverage customer interest data for successful email marketing.All of the... Read More

Email Marketing Kung Fu

Have you ever heard email described as, "the killer Internet Application?" Do you understand why... Read More

What Good Is An AutoResponder?

A term that confuses just about everyone is "autoresponder". When I mention that to friends... Read More

The List Is The Thing

Many companies begin their online sales ventures with the wrong strategy to build long term... Read More

Promote Your Web Business With Every Email You Send!

Website owners are always on the lookout for new ways to promote their business. What... Read More

Signature Files: The Easy Way To Create More Business

If you do business as an affiliate, then you're constantly concerned with getting your name... Read More

The Wrong Email Format Can Destroy Your Offer

Which email format is more effective to use, Text or HTML?A good question, many experts... Read More

Email Etiquette: How To Send Emails People Will Read

You may remember a time before there was email?a time when communications within most organisations... Read More

Why Your Email Distribution List is Your Best Source of New Sales

Don't overlook your current customers. After all, they're the ones who give you referrals and... Read More

Five of the Most Powerful Elements In Opt-in Marketing

Lack of trust is the biggest problem marketers have on the internet, or better yet,... Read More

Free Mailing Lists: Good Or Bad?

Advantages of the free mailing listsThe free newsletters are a great way to build a... Read More

Writing Effective Emails

Sometimes email messages can get quite long, especially when you quote much of the material... Read More

Virtual Marketing in a Tangible World

One of the greatest challenges facing business owners and managers is finding a way to... Read More

Email Etiquette II

I had great feedback from my last article, and was asked to write further on... Read More

The Ultimate Business Network: One Secret Power of the Masters

Dear Friend:If you're out there networking and have been for sometime, you understand the astronomical... Read More

Email Communication

Gartner estimates that half of the 5.5 trillion emails sent in 2001 was business related.Email... Read More

Youve Got Mail

It seems that Google is revolutionizing the Net in more than one way. Recently they... Read More

BlackList Monitor Gives Businesses Options to Ensure Opt-in Email Gets Through

Email may be fast becoming the preferred means of business communications and marketing, but,... Read More

Turn Your Old Articles Into Profitable E-mail Courses

If you've written numerous articles, you can use them to further promote yourself and your... Read More

Autoresponders, Which Autoresponder Is Right For Your Business?

An autoresponder is a software program that automatically sends a prewritten reply to anyone who... Read More

4 Effective Ways To Use Autoresponders To Increase Your Sales

An autoresponder is a very powerful tool for any online business. Basically, an autoresponder is... Read More

Email Marketing Best Practices

Now that we've explored the importance of sending permission-based email, let's take a closer look... Read More

Your Money Is Still In Your List - Build It!

You are a home business entrepreneur. You have just built a fantastic website, acquired a... Read More

7 Key Items To Include In Your Email Signature File

One of the most important and often overlooked methods of promoting your on line business... Read More

A Lesson In Email: The Money Is In The List... With The Back-End Sales

Firstly, back-end sales is eMail Marketing at its best, so for this to work you... Read More

Promote Your Products Without Annoying Spam Filters

How many times have you realized that your email simply doesn't arrive to your list... Read More

Spam! Whats the Real Problem

Most people now know the official definition of spam- Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE for short).That... Read More

Autoresponder Tips

An autoresponder is useful for, well, responding to people who send you inquiries through email.... Read More

Using Internet Direct Mail To Increase Your Company?s Profits

"I want to sell my company's products on the Web, but how do I get... Read More

Email Hosting ? Learn How To Use eMail To Grow Your Business

Email is a wonderful thing. It costs next to nothing and can be sent almost... Read More

Creating A Newsletter And Making Your Website Magnetic

Creating a newsletter is an ideal way to drive repeat traffic to your website but... Read More

Autoresponders An Important Part Of Internet Marketing?

Setting up and using email autoresponders on your site is an easy way to make... Read More

Just Because You Can...

Just because you can communicate with hundreds of people virtually via email, doesn't mean you... Read More

Can You Win The Battle By Using A Toothpick?

Every business needs a low cost way to reach targeted customers.Email marketing is by... Read More

10 Terrific Ways To Enlarge Your Subscriber Base

1. Create a unique selling proposition (USP).Developing a USP for your ezine will make your... Read More

Why Use Permission-Based Email Marketing?

The goal of all marketing is to attract interest in, build desire for, and... Read More

7 Autoresponder Marketing Strategies To Automate, Build and Grow Your Business

Did you know one of the most important tools in your Internet marketing arsenal?... Read More

Autoresponders - Simple Tweaks That will Improve Your Return Rate

Autoresponders are, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most powerful and important... Read More

Single or Double Opt--In?

You heard the message before. Your e-mail list is the most important key to your... Read More

The Importance of a Name in the Sent from Email Address

When using an email marketing tool such as Adestra's Message Focus, you are able... Read More

Should You Be Writing A Newsletter As Part Of Your Online Business?

Let's start at the beginning - why do you need a newsletter?Well of course, you... Read More

The 8 Biggest Newsletter Marketing Mistakes

Newsletter publishing has always made a lot of sense. It makes sense for firms to... Read More

Avoiding Blacklisting: Making Sure Your Email Gets Through

We all know that email is probably today's most popular way to advertise. Every day... Read More

How To Use Email Autoresponders to Boost Customer Loyalty

Your e-commerce website relies on its customers to become returning customers in order to develop... Read More

Who Else Wants to Sky Rocket Their CD Sales, Fan base and Indie Music Career?

If YOU Answered YES, Then Start An Online Newsletter?It's Easy, Here's How!I've always praised the... Read More

Sucking in Readers: Proven Ways to Increase Reader Interaction

You've probably heard this educational philosophy:Tell me, and I'll forget.Show me, and I may not... Read More