As your email list grows, email automation becomes a necessity. Email service providers (ESPs) can solve this problem, from triggered opt-in confirmations to sequences to autoresponders.

What is an email autoresponder?

An email marketing autoresponder is a script that sends automated emails in response to a user trigger. They’re often the first interaction in an email sequence and are highly customizable. Autoresponders are usually notifications to remind, confirm, or re-engage with subscribers, hopefully resulting in more conversions.

Autoresponders can be as simple or complex as their triggers (be it action-based or time-based). These become more multi-purpose as you integrate them with other platforms, like social media or interactions with your website. Some common examples include:

  • Confirming a subscription after entering an address into an opt-in form (welcome emails)
  • Confirming the creation of a ticket after contacting Customer Support
  • Sharing the receipt and order ID of an online purchase
  • Following up on items only partially through the purchase process (abandoned-cart emails for e-commerce brands)
  • Reminders about upcoming paid plan subscription expiration
  • Sending an out-of-office message when contacted

Autoresponder software can also trigger an email to be sent to the sender itself to notify them of any negative activity, like bounces or undelivered mail. 

Not to be confused with email broadcasts, autoresponders and triggered emails are interchangeable. You can set up automated emails from Mailchimp, Aweber, Constant Contact, and other providers.