Email Marketing “Autoresponder Campaigns” Explained

Aweber Campaign Automation
Photo: Aweber autoresponder campaign

Getting Started With Autoresponder Email Campaigns

Autoresponders are automated triggered email campaigns. Most of the autoresponders available are simple date-based emails. The more advanced email autoresponders allow you to use other data or events as triggers. Autoresponders are a great way to automate a portion of your email marketing, and when done correctly, these type of campaigns can be more effective than normal email newsletters. Here’s all the information you need to know about autoresponders and the email marketing platforms offering them.


Autoresponders Vs Drip Campaigns / Automations and Workflows

It’s important to know the difference between autoresponders and some of the other types of campaign automations. If it’s strictly a triggered email, it’s an autoresponder. If it’s a complex series of emails, it can start being called by some of the other terms such as “drip campaigns” “automation series” or “campaign workflows” (pick the buzzword you like best).

It’s incredible some of the highly complex email campaigns that can be put together. These campaigns can work with a wide selection of if/then statements to trigger actions and deliver more personalized emails based on the type of actions the recipient performs, and the type of data the marketer has on the recipient. Some of the more complex marketing automation platforms can even bring in data from websites and other platforms that can be used in addition to email automation.

If you’re looking to make some highly robust automated email workflows, definitely look into drip-campaigns and other forms of more complex forms of campaign automation. They make most autoresponders look like outdated concepts.


Type Of Autoresponder Triggers Available

Here’s a list of the different autoresponder triggers available. Keep in mind that some platforms only offer basic date-based triggers. All email platforms offer free trials, so you can always see for yourself what the different solutions offer as far as triggers go.

  • Subscription Date -Most commonly supported autoresponder. An automated triggered email (or series of emails) that occur after the recipient opts-in through a specific form.
  • Custom Date – Based on a specific date indicated when creating the autoresponder.
  • Birthday – Sent on the recipients birthday. The birthday must be indicated in the mailing list.
  • Clicks – Email or series of emails sent out if a recipient clicks on a specific link.
  • Opens – Email or series of emails sent out if a recipient opens a specific email.
  • Goal Reached – Email sent out when a recipient reaches a specific campaign goal.
  • Data Changed – Email sent out if data meeting a specific criteria is met.


Examples of Autoresponder Campaigns

Here are some example of different autoresponder campaigns that are possible. Keep in mind that this is not a complete list. Think of your particular industry and verticals and some of the creative and innovative triggered emails you can put together. The only limit to what is possible is what can be used as a trigger.

Birthday Emails – One of the most common forms of autoresponders. If you’ve got birthday information for your recipients, you can easily send them a birthday email. This email could come with a special birthday coupon or some other birthday “present”.

Milestone Emails – A milestone email is an email is an email to mark a specific event. Maybe they’ve been subscribed for x-amount of years, a donor of an organization for x-amount of years, or something completely different and unique to your particular business. If there’s a relevant milestone date, these type of emails can make for great autoresponders.

Welcome Email Series – One of the most common forms of autoresponders used. A simple series of welcome emails sent x-amount of days after a recipient subscribes. These emails are designed to introduce the new recipient to the brand, product or services.

Educational Email Series – If you’re dealing with a complex industry with lots of learning and educational components to it, educational campaigns make for great email series. Each email can focus on a specific topic or talking point. The duration in between the emails gives enough time for the recipient to soak up the knowledge and builds anticipation for the next email in the series.


Email Marketing Platforms With The Best Autoresponders

Here are the email marketing platforms ranked by the features and functionality of their autoresponders. Keep in mind that some of these platforms also offer drip campaigns. If you’re looking for some serious automations, you should also look at the email solutions with drip campaigns and take your email marketing to the next level.


GetResponse Email Marketing

GetResponse Autoresponder Campaigns

While most email marketing platforms only allow for date-based triggers, GetResponse goes above and beyond. GetResponse marketers are able to select from a wide range of triggers for the autoresponder series. Here are all the triggers available:

  • Time-Based
  • Clicks
  • Opens
  • Subscribes
  • Goal Reached
  • Data Changed
  • Autoresponder Sent
  • Birthday

As you can see, definitely way more triggers than most platforms. This allows for a lot more creative an effective triggered emails. For example; if someone clicks on a specific product or service link in a campaign, you can setup an easy trigger that will send out a campaign about that particular product or service in a couple days. Best of all, you can send it exactly x-days from the click, meaning it’s most likely a time when the recipient is checking their email,as it’s the time the made the original click.

That’s just one example of what’s possible when you’re able to setup autoresponders using more criteria than simply date-based.

GetResponse also offers some highly complex drip-campaigns for marketers looking for something more robust than autoresponders. The autoresponders can work with drip-campaign automations through the use of goals, updating data and campaign-based triggers.

More Info: GetResponse Email Marketing


Campaigner Email Marketing

Campaigner Autoresponders

Campaigner Goes beyond the basic date-based autoresponders. With Campaigner, you can also send out autoresponders with action-based triggers. The actions available are:

  • Contact opens an email
  • Contact clicks a link in an email
  • Contact replies to an email

This allows marketers to create automated emails tailored to the interests expressed by the recipient through campaign interactions.

Learn More: Campaigner Email Marketing


Aweber Email Marketing

Aweber Campaign Automation

Aweber has a very clean and intuitive autoresponder campaign builder. The drag-and-drop interface gives email marketers three options to choose from:

  • Send A Message
  • Wait
  • Apply Tags

Simply drag the elements over to the campaign area to create autoresponder series. Marketers are able to select the duration of time to wait between sending emails in the campaign series. The tagging of recipients can be used for future segmentations and for other purposes.

More Info: Aweber Email Marketing


Constant Contact Email Marketing

Constant Contact offers multiple options for their date-based autoresponders. You can create an autoresponder series based off the date a recipient registered to an opt-in list, on the recipients birthday or an anniversary email.

More Info: Constant Contact Email Marketing


ActiveCampaign Email Marketing

ActiveCampaign Autoresponders

The ActiveCampaign autoresponders are pretty basic. With ActiveCampaign, you can only create follow-up emails x-amount of dates after a recipient subscribes to a list. For more advanced automations, ActiveCampaign offers fully automated drip-campaigns. These can be used to build out highly complex email series with rules and criteria.

More Info: ActiveCampaign Email Marketing


iContact Email Marketing

iContact Autoresponders

The iContact autoresponders are pretty basic date-based campaigns. If you want more complex automations, iContact features drip-campaigns. the iContact automated campaign builder can be used to build very elaborate automated workflows.

More Info: iContact Email Marketing