An autoresponder is an automated message sent in response to either an email or a web form inquiry. It can be something as simple as “Thanks for contacting us!” to a series of ten or more emails sent at specific, pre-determined intervals.

At a very basic level, you set up the response in an autoresponder system, and set the parameters for when it gets sent. The automated program then takes care of the rest. Most people I know use either or to handle their autoresponders, but there are many other providers depending on your needs and budget.

While autoresponders are very cost effective and can save you a lot of time; they are not completely maintenance free. Following are a few tips to keep your system running smoothly.


It isn’t enough to just set up your messages, you need to run tests. A good autoresponder system or service will provide you with an option to send yourself a test. This way you have the opportunity to view your communication from the customer’s perspective. If there’s a problem, you don’t want your customer to be the first to know about it, most won’t bother to let you know the system’s broke!

If you’re giving away a free gift, such as a report or eBook, you’ll want to make sure your links are good and that the download is working properly. There are few things more frustrating than clicking on a “download” tab and having nothing happen!

Set up a system for yourself to periodically review your messages and make sure they are still timely and effective. Each time you do this; run a test to makes your links are still in place.


A good autoresponder service will provide you with tracking tools so that you can identify trends – good or bad – and adjust accordingly.

Test, test, test. Even if what you’re doing seems to be working, test new messages and systems because you may find something that works even better! The best way to compare results and discover trends is to run a split test. It’s easy to set up and, again your service should provide you with training and the tools to set up.

Possibly you’ve heard the term, garbage in, garbage out. That basically sums up autoresponders. This is a highly effective tool that can go a long way toward maximizing your marketing efforts and helping you make the most of your time. But in the end, it’s still up to you to make sure the system has been fed all the good information you have to promote your business before it can be trusted to do what it does best.

Just one more tip in closing. If you're using a autoresponder to promote products or service, it's a good idea to set up a reminder for yourself to update your messages at the same time you update your services or add new products.

If you’d like to find out more about email marketing and how you can take advantage of a one month trial offer from Aweber, read my blog post– Email Marketing: Turn Visitors into Buyers.

Author's Bio: 

Marquita lives in Maui, Hawaii and her professional background includes a successful 20 year sales and marketing career traveling the world promoting the Hawaiian Islands, followed by seven years as award winning coach working with new entrepreneurs building a home based businesses. Currently she is the author and editor of IGG - Tips, Tools and Tantalizing Ideas, a blog for people daring to create remarkable lives.

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