How Does An Autoresponder Work? A Quick Over View

How Does An Autoresponder Work

Hey, this is Leo, thanks for popping by. I’ve been getting some great questions from my beginner affiliate marketing students. And the latest one is – how does an autoresponder work?

That’s such a great question. And honestly being in digital marketing for as long as I have that’s not a question I would think of.

Simply because I have been using autoresponders for so long you start to think everyone knows what they are and how they work.

Yep, totally wrong on my part.

And with such a great question being asked it may be something you’ve been wanting to know as well. So let me share with you what I told my student as well as answer a bunch of other questions she had about autoresponders.

But first, let’s start at the beginning.

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here

What Is An Autoresponder?

Have you subscribed to an email newsletter or filled out an optin form?

Chances are you have.

And once you’ve given up your contact information typically you get a confirmation and welcome message. And then you’ll start getting a series of scheduled messages delivered to your inbox.

sign up form sample

This action is the work of an autoresponder. The autoresponder automates everything for you.

And this software is provided by companies like Aweber and Get Response just to name a few.

What Are Autoresponders Used For?

Autoresponders are used for Email Marketing. Once people have opted into your mailing list you can now provide your subscribers with valuable information related to your niche.

So for example let’s say you had a website devoted to healthy living. You could provide your mailing list information regarding exercise, recipes, healthy food choices, etc.

As well as making them aware of new products, sending them promotional messages, as well as providing them with other resources that can help them maintain a healthy lifestyle. The reality is you can set up your email marketing any way you like.

Email marketing is the best way of staying engaged and top of mind with people. In fact, the ROI (return on investment) when it comes to email marketing ranges between 3600% and $4200%.

So for every 1$ spent on your email marketing you’re getting a return of $36.00 to $42.00.

How Much Does An Autoresponder Cost?

The function of an autoresponder is the same from company to company. You set up your messages to be delivered to your subscribers according to the schedule you set.

As for the cost. It varies from company to company. The difference between pricing depends on the plans offered and the tools offered with each autoresponder service.

But you will find that the prices are not that far apart from company to company. I’ve tried many autoresponders and the one that suits my current needs is Aweber.

And you may find that the company you first decide to use, may not be the one you stay with.

Now as for pricing let’s use Aweber as an example.

You can start using Aweber for free. This allows you to gather up to 500 subscribers, and send up to 3000 messages per month for 1 campaign for free before you need to upgrade to a paid version.

Of course, with the free version, some of the tools that come with the paid version are not available with the free version.

Such as:

  • Email split testing
  • Behavioral Automation
  • Cart abandonment / Purchase tagging
  • Branded click-tracking links
  • Remove AWeber branding
  • Advanced message analytics
  • List segmentation
  • Plus many other features

Now you can start with a paid subscription of Aweber for $19.99 per month and get all the features right from the get-go.

However, once you exceed 500 subscribers your monthly pricing will increase accordingly.

  • 501-2,500 subscribers – $29.99 per month
  • 2501 – 5000 subscribers – $49.99 per month
  • 5001 – 10,000 subscribers – $69.99 per month
  • 10,001 – 25,000 subscribers – $149.99 per month
  • And so on

How Does An Autoresponder Work?

As I mentioned the function of all autoresponders no matter which service you choose to use, works the same.

You’re going to set up your campaign to deliver automated scheduled messages to people that join your mailing list.

Let’s go through the process of setting up an autoresponder campaign using Aweber as an example. This is just an overview, I’m not going to get into the details of crafting messages and such.

However, this will still give you a good idea of how to set up an autoresponder.

With every autoresponder service, you will need to set up your list setting. With the Aweber free subscription, you only have the option to set up one campaign.

With a paid subscription you can have more than one list (campaign). This enables you to set up separate campaigns for your different websites, or for different groups of people (prospects and customers).

And to set up a campaign you’ll need to set your List Settings. And in Aweber this consists of the following:

The Basic Setting

The List Name and Description

This tells your subscribers what your email list is about.

The From Name and Address

This is the name and email address subscribers see when they receive your messages.

Contact Address

This is the contact address that is included within all your messages that subscribers see at the bottom of your messages.


Here you enter your email address this way you can be notified when someone joins your mailing list.

Personalize Your List

In this section, you’re going to add the details of your company. If you don’t have a company that’s fine you can include your name where it asked for your company name.

company details

With Aweber, additional settings in this section include connecting your social accounts to share a link to your broadcast after your message is sent.

You can also view the pages that your subscribers interact with. Such as your Newsletter Hub and Unsubscribe Page.

You can also add Global Text Snippets which are bits of text that you want to include in all your messages like store hours, coupon codes, or event dates.

Confirmation Message

This is the message people will receive immediately after joining your mailing list. This is part of the double optin confirmation.

This protects you from being accused of spam. The new subscriber has to confirm they want to receive emails from you. If they don’t they are not added to your mailing list.

confirmation message sample

Your Messages

Once you have your list setting done it’s time to create your messages.

The message series will include your welcome message. This message is sent right away. It typically includes a thank you to your new subscriber for joining and a quick outline of what they can expect now that they are on your list.

And then the following messages you create can be set up to be delivered on whatever schedule you want.

So maybe you have decided that people who join your list receive a set series of messages sent to them every other day after joining and this goes on for 10 days.

And after the 10 days, those messages become less frequent and people on your list now get messages delivered once a week.

You can also create what is called Broadcast Messages. These messages are not included in your email series. These are messages that you can send to all of your subscribers, or a group of subscribers, at once.

So going back to the example of having a healthy living website. Maybe a company you’re affiliated with is having a flash sale.

You could create a broadcast message regarding the sales and send it to your subscribers. With a broadcast message you can set the time it goes out to your list. Or you can send it manually at any time.

The Optin Form

In order for people to join your mailing list, you need to have an optin (sign up) form on your website.

And you’ll find the area in the autoresponder service you’re using where you can create your form. Simply choose your form and then you can customize it to suit your needs.

aweber form design

Once you’ve created your form it’s time to place it on your website. Now with Aweber, you’re given the option of adding your form using JavaScript or the Raw HTML.

It’s recommended you use the JavaScript code. And the reason for that is if you change your optin form inside Aweber you will not have to make any changes on your website. Any changes you do will automatically be updated on your website.

aweber javascript

Autoresponder Services

When it comes to companies that provide autoresponder services you have a ton to choose from.

And like all services, you have good ones and bad ones. So to help you avoid using a poor service. Below is a list of the companies that fall into the good service category.

Now of course you’ll need to do your due diligence on each company to find the one that best suits your needs.

Wrapping It Up

Well there you go, that’s an overview of how an autoresponder works and its place when it comes to email marketing. The function of an autoresponder It’s actually very straightforward when you think about it.

People sign up for your mailing list and the autoresponder does all the heavy lifting for you and automatically delivers your messages to your list.

With that said, there are many challenges when it comes to email marketing.

And the biggest challenge in my opinion is creating a compelling free offer (ethical bribe) so people will sign up for your mailing list.

This ethical bribe is also known as a Lead Magnet. And without a compelling lead magnet, people are not going to join your mailing list. And if this is happening your email marketing campaign is dead in the water.

But it does not stop there. Once people are on your mailing list you need to start building a solid relationship with these people.

You can’t just keep hammering them with offer after offer trying to make sales. If you do that people will simply unsubscribe.

A responsive list comes from providing people with valuable information. And yes presenting offers. Because after all, your mailing list is a revenue stream.

And it can be a great revenue stream as long as you don’t abuse your subscribers.

I said it once and I’ll say it again. Build a relationship with your list.

Once people know, like, and trust you they will buy from you. And they will do it over and over again if what you are promoting helps them.

I hope you found this post helpful. If so feel free to share this post with your audience. And if you have any comments or questions please leave them below.

Just starting with digital marketing? Why work hard when you can work smart? Here’s 4 simple steps to turn your hobby or passion into a full-time online income with affiliate marketing.

I believe in you!

Leave a Comment