Hi there,

I recently started an online based business and I have decided that I need email autoresponders to automate the more tedious bit of the business, dealing with a growing number of clients.

Due to my limited budget, I have decided that I should only aim for free or very inexpensive autoresponder service (/software). Hence my question of some urgency: does anyone know of any good one that they could recommend?

If someone does, please let me know, any advice would be a great help.


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If you run a dedicated server, you should be able to configure the mail server to handle autoresponses. For example, that is what I do. :) Using the Plesk control panel, I have the ability to send different autoresponses to people depending upon who the email is from or the subject line of the message sent to me. For example, if someone sends me an email with the word Advertising in the subject line, they receive an autoresponse with my Media Kit.

Another idea is to have your mail server filter a selection of emails you don't need to deal with personally, and forward them off to your assistant for immediate handling.

I would recommend contacting your hosting company and seeing if they offer something similar.

Secondly, I have Rules configured with my email client. This allows my mail client to sort incoming mail on the fly. All email that is from bounced addresses gets automatically deleted, email with the word Advertising or Media Kit in it gets put into a special folder and highlighted in blue, and so on and so forth.

By using a combination of server-side autoresponders and client-side sorting with rules, you can make reading email a whole lot simpler by automating most of the tedious stuff and just focus on replying when you need to!

Of course, then there are the more expensive list management services out there, such as Lyris. :) Great if you want to start managing your list of clients and sending complex newsletters with advanced filtering and marketing systems built-in. This is also a good solution if you want to start monetizing your mailing list.

Thanks for your response,

It's left me in a bit of a daze coz ( :o ), quite frankly a whole lot of that went way over my head in terms of IT expertisee.

Though it has opened up a whole new perspective on what is out there for me to pick from.

I was and still am looking for something very simle and straightforward. I don't currently have a dedicated server for my business (it is a very small home-based business in earnest) and regardless of that, I want to manage it in a more time- economising manner.

Again, many thanks for your response.

You should opt for shared hosting to start with, I amwith an ISP that can offer a simple easy to use control panel called Plesk that enables you to use autoresponders. A dedicated server would be good if you run applications and need root access to do work on your sites. Are you windows or Unix?

Thanks for your response. I am currently a windows user but I will be evaluating the possiblity of starting to UNIX OS.

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