21 automatic email response strategies

Drip campaigns done right

Whether you sell products, services, information — even hope — you can use an automatic email response to connect better with your audience.

What’s an automatic email response?

An automatic email response is an email that gets sent automatically based on specific criteria. Autoresponders are often used in a series — also called a drip campaign — to engage people over time.

How are autoresponders different from email newsletters? When someone subscribes to your newsletter, they only receive future editions. If you have autoresponders set up, you can control exactly when people receive which content — regardless of when they sign up.

21 automatic email response strategies

Here are 21 great autoresponder strategies to help grow your business using email marketing!

1. Welcome new subscribers

Consider setting up a single autoresponder email to welcome new subscribers. It’s an awesome opportunity to link to relevant information, tell subscribers more about your business, or just show them you appreciate their interest.

2. Survey customers after purchase

Whenever customers purchase something — whether it’s a product or an hour of your time — shoot them an email a day (or a week) later with an autoresponder. Use some basic personalization and ask them how they liked their purchase (you’ll gain some great insights!).

Use those insights to make small improvements, and don’t forget to say thanks for the feedback.

3. Market similar products and services

Add customers to lists based on their purchases or — using a tool like “Link To List” — based on links they click. Based on customers’ actions, send follow-up autoresponders with related products.

This may sound complex, but if you keep things simple, it can be set up in minutes!

4. Offer an email e-course

Autoresponders are the perfect way to deliver e-courses. Send a daily or weekly course module without even having to think about it! Set it, forget it, and when someone subscribes to your course, they’ll receive the modules automatically. Winner!

5. Create a multi-day tutorial for new customers

Whenever people sign up for our service, we kick off a three-day tutorial where they can learn a little more about our tools each day.

Setting up a “new customer tutorial” is a great way to avoid overloading newbies with a ton of information at once.

6. Send a year of inspirational quotes

This is a fun one. A year’s worth of lovely thoughts — sent daily (or weekly, or whenever) — is a fantastic way to inspire people and remain top-of-mind.

7. Follow up after appointments

After an appointment, add your client to your “post-appointment” list and send them a follow-up autoresponder. It could be a thank-you note or a reminder to schedule their next appointment. Whatever works for your business!

8. Send invoices

With some basic personalization to take care of specifics, you can simply add the customer to the appropriate list and send off an invoice.

9. Serialize your ebook

Serializing your ebook via email is a great way to turn readers into subscribers (and subscribers into buyers). Send them a chapter a week with autoresponders!

10. Confirm registrations

Need to confirm that someone registered? When people register for an event like a webinar, use autoresponders to confirm the details. You can do this for live or web-based events.

11. Thank people who RSVP

Autoresponders are also great for thanking people who RSVP to your event.

12. Share rewards and incentives

Encourage subscriptions to your email list by offering a downloadable reward like a song or a piece of writing. Commonly used by musicians and authors, the offer goes a little something like this: “Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free download!”

Once the subscriber joins your email list, deliver the reward via autoresponder. Easy, right?

13. Ask for online reviews

Your customers love you, right? But it isn’t always easy to ask for reviews on Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc. A neat way to handle this is to send a sweet thank-you note after they purchase something — and include links to the important review sites. It’s not subtle, but it’s not awkward either!

14. Follow up on customer service issues

Customer service can be enhanced with autoresponders, but don’t rely on autoresponders to run the show entirely. After certain interactions, show that you care by sending a follow-up autoresponder.

15. Instill a sense of urgency about trial periods

This works wonderfully for both services and products. Set up a series of autoresponders to remind your customers that their trial period’s clock is ticking away. Educate your customers on the features they might have missed while also creating a sense of urgency.

16. Create advanced segmentation

Allow new subscribers to “self-segment” by creating a web form (also called signup form) that lets them choose which lists they want to be on. Create an autoresponder series (also called a drip campaign) for each list so new subscribers receive highly relevant information.

17. Confirm appointments

Whenever someone books an appointment, send them an autoresponder confirmation right away. Include all the import details like date, time, and place.

It’s also a neat opportunity to add other information about you and what you offer — and anything else people ought to know before an appointment!

18. Create medication adherence reminders

If your business or organization works with people who should be taking medications, you can set up reminders to help them adhere to their prescriptions. A simple reminder can feel reassuring and help people stick to the plan. (Just be sure to consider privacy issues around medical information.)

19. Offer meal-planning subscriptions

Do your customers need help creating easy meals for their families? Or help sticking to a diet?

You can offer meal-planning subscriptions as a service to your customers! Using autoresponders, you can send out weekly menus and recipes, and you can even create content for specific needs (e.g., a gluten-free subscription and a vegan subscription).

20. Offer fitness-coaching subscriptions

This is similar to the meal-planning service. Fitness professionals: give your clients a daily dose of motivation using autoresponders! Send daily workout plans, along with additional information like tips on improving form and links to demo videos.

21. Send a thank-you email on customers’ one-month or one-year anniversaries

This one’s pretty obvious. Set an autoresponder to send a thank-you note just to remind your customers that you appreciate them!


Also published on Medium.

Image by: Howdy, I'm H. Michael Karshis via Compfight cc

Dean Levitt
Raised on a farm in South Africa, Dean moved to the United States to pursue a career in music, eventually finding his way to both Hawaii and the tech world. While growing his previous company, Mad Mimi (acquired by GoDaddy in 2014), Dean realized he had a passion for web analytics and Teacup was born. Teacup makes digital marketing effortless for small businesses. Teacup handles all the "hard stuff" like keyword research, ad creation, landing pages and campaign structure. Teacup also manages reporting and optimization so small businesses can just focus on doing what they love.