Autoresponder FAQ

Autoresponders are now available in AXNT™. Autoresponders can be a great way to build a personal or customized relationship with your mailing list members in an automated way that can be setup once, and triggered based on specific events or criteria that you define.

Auto-what?

Before we get too carried away, how about a quick introduction. Autoresponders go by a few different names like triggered emails and drip campaigns, but essentially they are an automated email, or sequence of emails sent when a subscriber meets a condition you set. For example, when someone joins your list, your subscriber’s birthday, or a month since someone purchased from your store.

You set the rules around when an autoresponder should be triggered and tell us what emails to send. AXNT™ does the rest.

Below is an example of how an autoresponder would look if you want to send an email to subscribers when they first join your list, send a quick guide a week later, and then a final follow up a month after they signed up:

You can set up an unlimited sequence of emails for each type of autoresponder you create. Combine these with our new date-based custom fields and the possibilities are endless.

Choose your trigger

You never want to email a subscriber when it’s not what they asked for or isn’t something they’d be interested in. The “set and forget” mentality that comes with autoresponders can be a dangerous thing, so we’ve made it easy for you to choose exactly what should cause an autoresponder to be triggered.

After trawling the feedback from customers via email, Twitter and our forums, it became clear there were three main types of autoresponders you needed. Here’s what you’ll see each time you create a new autoresponder for any subscriber list:

You can trigger an autoresponder when a new subscriber joins your list (via a subscribe form or the API), or when a subscriber’s date-based custom field matches a rule you set. Date-based autoresponders can be based on either the anniversary of that date (like a birthday), or an exact match (like a membership expiry).

Of course, there are other scenarios outside these like a link clicked in a campaign, or more sophisticated conditions being met, but as always we’re going for the simplest implementation to meet the needs of the majority of customers. If the demand is there, we’ll look at adding more ways to trigger them in the future.

Reporting you can actually use

Just like all the other resporting tools in AXNT™ a lot of thought has been put into building autoresponder reports that you can actually learn from. At a glance we give you an overview of the basics like how many emails have been sent, the average open rate, click rate and unsubscribe rate. But, it’s the “over time” stats that are really interesting.

Autoresponders are often something you put a lot of work into setting up initially, but then only tend to check on them occasionally. With that in mind, we focused on making it easy to spot how each email in the sequence is performing over time.

This type of report means that if you make a copy or design change to an email in an active autoresponder, you can come back in a few days and see how that change is performing compared to the initial version.

See how individual emails are performing

As well as comparing the performance of each email in an autoresponder over time, you can also drill down to see the results for each email itself.

For each email in an autoresponder we’ll slide down a link activity report showing the unique and total clicks for each.

As low as 0.75¢ an email

Every autoresponder email you send costs 1 email credit, which start at just 3¢ and get cheaper if you buy in bulk. There is no delivery fee like a regular email campaign. If you have any active autoresponders, we’ll let you know when credits are running low automatically so you can top them up.

If you do end up running out of credits, we’ll just pause that autoresponder until you purchase more. Then you can turn them back on with the click of a mouse. You can purchase credits from your dashboard from the Billing link.You can read a little more about the billing side of autoresponders below.

If credits aren’t showing up in your AXNT™ account dashboard let us know right away. We’ll get them turned on in your account.

Getting started

Everything you see here is live and ready to roll in your account. You’ll find the autoresponder section under each of your mailing lists. Autoresponders are list-specific, so simply head into a subscriber list you’d like to set one up for, and you’ll notice a new “Autoresponders” link, just like the image on the right.

We’ll be putting together help documentation shortly. In the meantime get started with autoresponders. Try sending a series of emails to new subscribers, creating anniversary style autoresponders (like a happy birthday email) or trickle programs.

We expect autoresponders to add a new level of custom, personal communication to your audience. We can’t wait to see how each of you use this new feature. Enjoy.

How does billing work for autoresponders?

An autoresponder is one or more emails that are triggered when a particular subscriber matches certain rules. A common example is an email that is sent on each subscriber’s birthday.

When you send a normal email campaign you pay the sending fee, and then 1 cent (or one credit) for each active subscriber you are sending to.

Autoresponders are a bit different, because they are not sent all at once, but one at a time as people join your list, or otherwise meet the rules that trigger particular emails to be sent.

How much does it cost to setup an autoresponder?

There is no cost to setup autoresponders, you can have as many as you like setup without paying anything at all. You’ll only pay when autoresponder emails are actually sent out.

How much does each autoresponder email cost?

You’ll pay a base rate of 1 credit for each email sent. So if you have an autoresponder setup to email people on their birthday, then it will cost 1 credit every time one of your subscribers is sent their own birthday message.

You can purchase credits via your account dashboard in the Billing section in the upper right-hand corner

There is no ‘campaign sending fee’ because it isn’t a campaign, just an individual email.

Can I pay in cash instead of credits?

No, to avoid making lots of little charges on your credit card, you are required to have email credits in your account to use autoresponders.

Purchasing email credits also gives you access to bulk rates if you purchase enough credits up front, so it can reduce your costs.

What happens when I run out of credits?

The short answer is that your autoresponders will be put on hold, and no further emails will be sent out until you’ve purchased or allocated more credits, and then restarted your autoresponders.

AXNT™ will send you a warning in advance though, when we calculate that your credits are getting low compared to the amount you typically use. So you will have a chance to buy more and not have the autoresponders disrupted.