Autoresponders are one of the most popular tools used on the Internet, as they will enable you to put a portion of your business on auto-pilot.

Over the years, I have received many questions about autoresponders and have devised a list of the most frequently asked autoresponder questions.

Question: I’m new to Internet marketing and am continually hearing about the benefits of using an autoresponder. Can you please explain exactly what an autoresponder is?

Answer: Autoresponders are one of the top promotional tools available online today. They are also known as automatic responders, 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 sent to it with an automatic response.

Autoresponder programs vary from software set up to run with your desktop email program and automatically answer your incoming email to a script that runs on your server. The script may run a Web-based autoresponder system that utilizes a web page form, or it may run with your pop email account on your server. It is programmed to automatically send out a predetermined message when a message is received to a specified script address or email address.

Question: My hosting company provides access to autoresponders, but I have no idea what they’re used for. Can you please explain?

Answer: There are many advantages associated with the use of autoresponders. Not only do they automate the daily task of manually replying to requests for information, but they also provide instant gratification for the recipient.

Autoresponders can be used in an unlimited number of ways including:

• Sample ezine copy for potential subscribers
• Articles for publication – A great way for writers to distribute their articles
• Offer free powerful reports on various subjects and use your signature file at the end to promote your site or business
• Offer free resources with information about your site, product or business
• Information about your business opportunity
• Product listings
• Price list
• Welcome letters
• Thank you letters
• Order confirmations
• Advertising rates

Question: Can you tell me what I should look for when selecting an autoresponder service?

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

The service you select should provide all of the following:

• Personalized responses – This makes the recipient feel that the 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 – It is imperative to provide your customers with accurate, up to date information on your products and services.
• Automatic notification – You must have the ability to track your ad’s performance. You should be instantly informed each time someone requests your information.

Question: I would like to set up an autoresponder course, but I can’t figure out how to do it. Can you please explain?

Answer: In order to set up an autoresponder course, you must use a system that provides follow-up autoresponders. These follow up messages can be set up to automatically be 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.

Not all autoresponders will enable you to create follow-up messages. However, the following service will:

If you’d rather have your own autoresponder system that resides on your server, I recommend using Auto Response Plus:

The first step in creating an autoresponder course is to decide upon a subject. Your course should focus on a subject in which you have a great deal of knowledge and target your potential customers.

Once you have selected your subject, you’ll need to make a list of topics. Each topic will represent one lesson. If you have five topics, then you can offer your visitors a free 5-day course. If you have ten topics, then you can offer your visitors a free 10-day course and so on.

Separate each of your topics into course lessons. Your first lesson should welcome your subscriber to your course and explain a little bit about what they are going to learn, followed by the first lesson.

The key to creating a successful autoresponder course is to provide quality information that will be of interest to your target audience. Each daily topic must contain valuable information or your reader may decide to unsubscribe. In addition, make sure you include information in regard to your course such as the lesson number, lesson title, information about your products or services and highlights of the next lesson.

Your course should identify a problem, provide advice in regard to solving the problem and provide the solution with your products or services. Keep in mind, your course should not be written like a sales letter. It must provide quality information written to teach and inform.

Autoresponders are an absolute essential part of developing a successful Internet business. The more you can automate your tasks, the more time you’ll have for more important things, such as making more sales.

Copyright © Shelley Lowery 2003.

About the Author:

Shelley Lowery is the author of Web Design Mastery – An in-depth guide to professional web design. And, Ebook Starter – A complete ebook design kit. Visit to sign up for a free subscription to Etips and receive a free copy of the highly acclaimed ebook, “Killer Internet Marketing Strategies.”


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