Don’t Make This Dumb Autoresponder Mistake

autoresponder mistake

Image by fireflythegreat via Flickr

Email autoresponders can be a great tool. Just set them up, and you automagically send messages to your subscribers.

You can send product information, helpful tips on how to use your services, sales messages, special offers, all sorts of content.

It can be a great tool which can help you build relationships, nurture potential clients, and keep your current clients loyal.

What’s not to like?

There’s a small catch

It turns out there’s a nasty surprise lurking in that autoresponder.  I discovered this recently when I went to update an autoresponder series. I had expanded the content, revised the existing emails, and added new messages.  I uploaded all the new material to AWeber. And, it immediately started sending them out – to everyone on the list!


I (somewhat frantically) called AWeber. They said in order to fix it I had to put a large number as the “last message” in the series in each and every record. That took quite a bit of time. Ugh!

Important autoresponder safety tip

If you want to add to a series that’s been in place for a long time, do one of the following:

  • create a whole new list
  • delete the “old” subscribers first
  • add 1001 (or some other large number) to the last message field (this is the most time-consuming, but probably the best option if you want to contact those subscribers again for another offer, or add new content)

If you do mess up

Send an immediate email acknowledging the mistake.  Apologize for the error, and explain that you’ve now fixed it.  Fortunately, everyone on my list took it well (no complaints). Whew!

Has this happened to you? Have you been frustrated with an autoresponder or email setup?  Tell all in the comments.

How to Put Your Email Marketing on Automatic Pilot


Image via Wikipedia

In yesterday’s cliffhanger, I promised to tell you how to automatically send email mails and market to your readers without lifting a finger. You set it up once, and then let it run all by itself.

The secret?

Email marketing autoresponders.


What exactly is an email autoresponder anyway?

An auto-responder is an email (or a series of emails) you write and schedule in advance. Once they’re written and set up in your email service provider, they go out automagically when a new person subscribes.

You can write as many (or as few as you like).  You can even add to them over time.

How to use email marketing autoresponders

  • Welcome new subscribers to your newsletter

When someone signs up to your newsletter, use an autoresponder message to welcome them.  Tell them a bit about what your content will be, and give them a sample. A follow-up automatic message could ask for feedback on the newsletter, if they have any questions, etc.

  • Teach something

Or, you could develop an e-course, with a series of lessons teaching your readers how to do something.

You can also create a series of inside tips, such as “cheats” for your video game, or how to use your software.

  • Prepare them for a long-term goal

This could be a series of tips on how to prepare for a big life change or reach a goal.  For instance, a series of tips on getting ready to run your first marathon, with exercises, distances to run, the best shoes, what to eat, and so on.

Or, it could be a life change, such as relocating to a new country.  You could send a series of emails on packing, getting visas and documents, finding a new school, taxes, moving companies, etc.

  • Segment your audience

Another option is several separate series of emails designed for your different audiences. This can be based on different levels of expertise, varying interests, or different life stages.

For example, if you run a photography blog you might set up an autoresponder series for beginners, another for gadget lovers, and a third for professionals.  Or, you might separate it by different types of photography: food, portraits, landscape, etc.

What other uses can you think of?