So what is an Auto-Responder?

An auto-responder is an automated email campaign that is sent based on an event like subscribing to a list or based on a date in your contact list.

Sign Up Date -Auto-Responders based on sign up will be sent to any subscribers that subscribe to the list. You can choose how many hours after the sign up occurs, but keep in mind even existing subscribers that resubscribed will be emailed.

Annual Date - An annual date auto-responder is one which is to be sent every year - like a Birthday, Halloween, Christmas, etc.

Specific Date - A specific auto-responder is one that is sent on a specific date - only once, not recurring every year, like an annual date.

Part 1: Scheduling your auto-responder

Begin by setting a data field. Under the Contact List tab access your list and click on Manage List Structure on the left hand menu.

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Click on the Add New Field button on the left hand side.

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Enter your field name (in this case, "Birthday") and select a Type.

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If you're adding this field to an existing list, you'll need to get Birthday dates from subscribers, or, if you already have people's birthdates (because they've given them to you), you can add them to the existing subscriber data. If this is a brand new list, you can include a "Birthday" field on your sign-up form.

Part 2: Now that you've added a date and time field to your contact list, we're ready to create the campaign.

Now it's time to create your auto-responder. Go to your Campaigns tab and click on Create a Campaign on the left hand side.

Select Auto-Responder from the options available.

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Follow the Campaign Wizard step by step to select a contact list, edit campaign settings and your message, along with testing your email to make sure it will be sent out in perfect condition. Click here for more details on this process.

In the last step you will be able to schedule your campaign.

You will see two options available by default:

Option 1 will let you schedule your auto-responder x hours after a subscriber signs up.

This choice is great if you want to send welcome emails to your subscribers immediately after they sign up. To send the auto-responder immediately after signup, choose 1 minute.

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Option 2 will let you schedule the auto-responder on a specific date and time.

All auto-responders, unless they are scheduled for a specific date and time, will automatically be sent at 12.30am ET.

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Option 3 is only available if you have defined a date field for your list in addition to "sign up date".

This option will let you schedule an auto-responder as defined by your additional date field (for example, a birthday).

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To turn it off, access the campaign and click on Suspend. You may turn it on again at any given moment by clicking Resume.

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