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.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Make This Dumb Autoresponder Mistake

  1. I find that it’s very easy to get tripped up with messages set up for email lists, and super frustrating when it happens. Sending an email immediately to acknowledge (and apologise for) the mistake is the right way to respond. I’d expect that there would usually still be a small number of people who unsubscribe regardless, so for you to have had no complaints suggests that you acted quickly and wrote a very effective follow-up email of contrition!

    • Well, I ended up with no complaints for the original email, but several for the apology. Odd that.

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