How to Use Email Autoresponders for Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies.

And finally, after years of hands-on time making email campaigns, things are getting less time-intensive. With email autoresponder technology becoming easier (and cheaper!) to use businesses of all sizes can automate their email campaigns!

What is an Email Autoresponder

First things first, let’s talk about what an email autoresponder actually is. An autoresponder is exactly what it sounds like! It’s when emails are automatically sent to a specific segment of people on your email list. For example, a welcome email is considered an autoresponder email.

Automated emails are typically triggered by an action done by the user whether it’s joining your email list or abandoning a shopping cart. These emails typically work well because the email is in context to an action the customer remembers doing. The end goal of an automated email is to convert those email subscribers into loyal customers.

Why Do You Need an Email Autoresponder

Every online business needs an autoresponder whether you’re a small business, blogger, restaurant, political group, or non-profit! Using an email autoresponder makes your life a whole lot easier, and it has a lot of benefits for your customers too!

  • Build trust – Your subscribers will get used to seeing you in their inbox and become familiar with your business and brand. This is particularly helpful for new businesses and with brand new email subscribers.
  • Keep your subscribers updated – You can easily send out special offers and promotions, your latest blog content, or other relevant information that your subscriber may have missed on your site.
  • Send your subscribers reminders – If your services require customers to renew on their own, an autoresponder email can be sent to remind the customer their annual renewal date for your services is near. You can also send reminders for upcoming sales or events!
  • Aid in research – Now more than ever, people are demanding personalized, in-depth research before making purchasing decisions. With an autoresponder email, you can send that info straight to them based on an action they had on your website. For instance, if someone left an expensive item in their cart you can send them more information and reviews on the item to help make the decision.
  • Nurture leads then turn them into customers – You have the chance to build a relationship with your subscribers the second they join your email list. With an email autoresponder, offer subscribers valuable context they’re interested in and turn those prospects into buyers.

Ways to Use an Autoresponder

We love autoresponders because they’re so flexible! They can work for many different types of businesses because they can be used in so many different ways. These are just a handful of our favorite ways to use email autoresponders.

Two-Step Verification

This is typically the first automated email sent to a subscriber. It verifies that someone has requested to subscribe to your email list and has them confirm that they want to opt-in to receive emails from you. This helps to reduce unsubscribes down the line.

Welcome Email

74.4% of subscribers expect a welcome email when they subscribe. We suggest sending a welcome email within the first 48 hours of subscription. In your welcome email, talk about your business but make sure to focus on what’s in it for the customer. This can be a good time to send a discount code or a valuable piece of information.

Enhance Sales Process

If a user abandons a cart, send them a friendly email reminding them that their items are still available and waiting for them. After customers make a purchase from your business, up-sell by sending them complementary products. Other ways to enhance the sales process with email automation is by sending order notifications and retargeting products.

How to Guide/Short E-Course

Offering a free sample e-course or a free how-to guide that prepares customers to buy, or helps to solidify you as an expert. After completing the free course, send customers another automated email congratulating them on their completion and offering a discount on your paid products/services.


After a customer makes a purchase in-store or online, send them an automated email that includes a survey. You can use these surveys to learn about customer satisfaction, their interests, and their opinions on your products.

Repurpose Old Content

Use your automated emails to drive new subscribers to your older yet best pieces of content! Any videos, infographics, or blog posts that others really loved would be great to include in your first couple of automated emails.

When to Send Autoresponder

You don’t want to frustrate your subscribers with too many emails or they might unsubscribe from future mailings or mark your emails as spam! So how many emails is too many and when should you send them?

When a user first subscribes to your email list, they’re eager about your brand so make sure you take advantage of their exuberance! Start by sending automated emails more frequently with one to three days in between each email. Over time, you can adjust the frequency of sending emails by monitoring your customers’ open rate and click-through-rate. Tip: Open rates tend to be lower on weekends!

To minimize unsubscribers and spam complaints, you don’t want to email a subscriber multiple times per day. This is a one and done situation. Also, do not overtly advertise in each and every email. You want to make sure your email marketing content is useful to your subscribers! Make sure it’s interesting and relevant.

How to Write an Autoresponder Series that Converts

First, you need to make sure the email is all about the customer. Use their first name to make the email more personal and individualized. No one likes to get a “hey there!” email. Personalization is available in pretty much every email marketing program. Also, make sure to use pronouns such as “you” or “your” throughout the email.

Next, you must address a need that your subscribers have from the information provided or any analytics you have on them from their purchasing history to their open rate. Test and see if it’s effective and update future email campaigns accordingly.

Lastly, add personality to your message that fits your brand. You want to build a relationship with your subscriber so make your business seem approachable and trustworthy with your choice of wording. Also, you can invite customers to reply to your emails or join the discussion on your site!

Tools for Email Auto Responses

When it comes to email automation, there are so many tools on the world wide web but here are our top 5 favorite picks.

  1. MailChimp’s automation feature is perfect for beginning email marketers (and our personal favorite). Their free plan allows you to add up to 2,000 email subscribers and send 12,000 emails/month. Their automation feature allows you to create targeted emails that send when triggered by an event, activity, or date. For example, send an automated email to your customers with product recommendations tailored to their purchase history.
  2. Zoho Campaigns’ email marketing platform is made for creating, sending, and tracking email campaigns for small and medium-sized businesses. Like MailChimp, Zoho also allows up to 2,000 subscribers with 12,000 emails per month. With Zoho, you can engage with subscribers depending on how they’ve responded to your previous messages by sending specific action-based emails.
  3. Email Elastic specializes in bulk email marketing. Elastic gives you a bit more freedom to customize and automate your email marketing campaigns than other services with their HTTP API and SMTP API. Their plan allows you to send up to 150,000 emails per month!
  4. Benchmark Email, which is available in eight languages, is focused on helping make your emails ready for every reader no matter where they live! Their plan allows up to 2,000 subscribers and 14,000 emails per month. Benchmark’s RSS email campaign option sends your blog posts via email automatically.
  5. SendInBlue’s simple design makes it easy for anyone with very little technical know-how to launch a campaign! Not only can you send 9,000 emails per month to an unlimited number of subscribers but SendInBlue also offers automated text messages too!

Now What?

If you haven’t started building your email list already, now’s the time to get started! Once you’ve come to grips with your software of choice and have a good handle on your customer personas, an email autoresponder is a natural next step.

Don’t have time for another marketing channel? Let’s chat about what is the best fit for you, or let us take the reins of your email marketing! We always start with a free strategy session to get the ball rolling, sign up today!