An autoresponder is a program designed to send an automated response to incoming emails or text messages. These responses can be simple or complex, depending on the received email. The first autoresponders that were created, were made because of the inability to deliver an email to an apt address. Because of that, emails in a form “your email could not be delivered because of…” were created. Nowadays things have gotten a little bit more complicated, therefore autoresponders need to pay more attention not to generate email back-scatter. The result of that can be that the autoresponse can be received as a spam.
An autoresponder is often used as an e-mail marketing tool, to immediately provide information to their prospective customers and then follow-up with them at preset time intervals. Such a follow-up autoresponder can be divided into two categories: outsourced autorespond model and server-side autorespond. Outsourced autoresponders operate on the provider’s infrastructure and are usually configurable via a web-based control panel. The customer pays a monthly usage fee. This is easiest to implement for the end-user. Server-side enables users to install the autoresponder system on their own server. This requires technical skills.
Autoresponders are also incorporated into electronic mailing list software, to confirm subscriptions, unsubscriptions, posts, and other list activities.