An autoresponder is an automatic system for delivering emails in response to someone asking for more information about something.
At its simplest, an autoresponder sends out a single acknowledgement email when an enquiry is received either by email or via a web page form. One standard use is to set up a message that says something like “Hi, thanks for your email. I’m on holiday until 27th January when I will get back to you. Best wishes, Jo Marketer”. However, internet marketers make much more sophisticated use of such systems in order to build up relationships with people online automatically.
For example, an autoresponder services like GetResponse, Aweber and MailChimp allow you to program in a sequence of email messages so that the enquirer receives one message immediately on receipt of their enquiry followed by a whole series of further automatically delivered emails. As a marketer you might choose to send out a bit of information to the enquirer as soon as they make an enquiry, then on the second day you might choose to send a further email that draws attention to one specific feature of the product or service they are selling and so on for a number of days.
Good autoresponders let marketers create a series of emails like this easily and handle all the processes of sending out emails in the right order and on the appropriate days so that every individual enquirer receives the same series of emails but at different times depending on when they first made the enquiry.
As a marketer, the benefits of autoresponders are
- you get to engage with your customer automatically
- you can use your autoresponder email messages to bring people back to your website repeatedly which is good for brand-building, traffic and sales.
- good autoresponders handle all the subscription management and unsubscription processes automatically
- you get high quality metrics about how your emails are being received: are they being read, do they generate lots of unsubscribes, do they generate traffic to your website, where are your readers located etc.