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Autoresponders

Autoresponders

Your Autoresponder tool is located at "Email_Management" >> "Autoresponders" of your main Appies menu.  This tool helps you create e-mail addresses that return pre-written messages back to the one who sent the message to the autoresponder.  There are many great uses for autoresponders including:

  • instant information. Many users still prefer to receive e-mail information as opposed to having to search for something on a web page.  You can create autoresponders that send users information on each one of your products or services.
  • vacation/away notice. Use an autoresponder kind of like an outgoing voice mail and let users know if you are in today, what time they can expect you to get back to them, etc.  The "Enable" feature makes temporary autoreponders very easy to manage.
  • spam reduction. Create an autoresponder that has your real e-mail address in it. Use this autoresponder address when posting anywhere on the net.  Real users will get the autoresponder message, read it, then resend their message to your real address. Robots (spambots) will just continue to send junk to this autoresponder that will end up in /dev/null (trash).

 Marketing Idea...

Autoresponders are great for selling products and upselling existing customers.  If you have an address that is used by customers or prospects, why not make an autoresponder that first sends them some great marketing information? Make sure you use the "send copy to" field so you get a copy of their e-mail as well to respond.

Creating an Autoresponder. Creating an autoresponder is quite simple and can be done in seconds.  Just fill in the following fields on the autoresponder page and click the "update autoresponders" button at the bottom of the page, or the Add icon.  All new autoresponders and changes take effect immediately.

autoresponder - the name of the autoresponder or first part of the e-mail address.  No spaces, all lower case.  Follow standard e-mail address criteria.

 Awesome Feature...

Use "anythingelse" as the name and create a catch all autoresponder that can send a message to the sender with a list of valid addresses.  This is a great way to prevent spam while not losing any mail due to spelling errors or typos!

subject - the subject of the e-mail message that is returned to the sender.

message - your message that will be sent back to the sender.  This can be in either plain text or HTML.

 Technical Note...

Textarea input boxes (like the "message" box for your autoresponder) do have size limitations associated with them. These limitations are due to resources on the local PC and based on the browser.  If your message exceeds the size limitation and cannot fit into the textarea, you can always FTP your message file to the autoreply directory and replace the file named after your autoresponder ending in ".message".

/var/www/autoreply/[autoresponder name].message

send original to - a fully qualified e-mail address must be entered if you wish for the sender's original message to be sent to another email address. This address can not be the same address as the autoresponder itself.  If no address is entered, the sender's original e-mail will be deleted.

from address - this is a required field that needs a fully qualified e-mail address.  When the sender receives the autoresponder message, this is the address that it is shown as coming from.

reply to address - if the sender attempts to reply to the autoresponder, the message will be sent to this address. If nothing is entered, the "from" address will be used as the reply to.

 Technical Note...

If you'd like the "from" or "reply to" address to show your real name or business name in addition to an email address, format it like this:

Your Name you@[yourdomain]

send message as HTML - this option is great for sending ads or promotions.  If selected, be sure HTML code is used in the message.  When this option is selected the sender does not see a copy of the message they sent to the autoresponder.

Editing / deleting autoresponders. Once an autoresponder is created, it can be easily edited by clicking the autoresponder's edit icon in the last column.  This will insert the autoresponder's data in the editing fields where you can then change any of the information. Click the "update autoresponders" or the larger  icon once you are done editing the data and the changes will take effect instantly. To delete, just click the delete above the text input boxes. This will delete the autoresponder and aliases associated with it.

 Awesome Feature...

The "Enable" feature. By default when you create a new autoresponder it is enabled, meaning it will trigger the set automatic response. You can setup autoresponders that have the same e-mail address as any of your aliases, POPs or lists. Then, if the autoresponder is enabled, it will take precedence over the other email account, without deleting the account. This is perfect for a temporary away message or a vacation autoresponder that will be used frequently. However, you must put a different email address in the "send original to" field (not the address of the alias, POP or list account) to avoid creating a mail loop. See below for details on how to set this up.


enable - Use this feature to enable or disable an autoresponder.

Autoresponders with POP Accounts

If you're looking for an autoresponder enabled at all times or a flexible autoresponder for short term messages, AND you also want a copy of the sender's original message that you can respond to when you become available, this will help.

Start by creating your POP account -- for example: "mary@[yourdomain]". This is the POP account you will use to receive and send e-mail, using your favorite e-mail program. Configure it just as you would any other POP account.

Next set up an alias to this POP account, where e-mail can be sent without triggering your autoresponder. Let's call this address marydirect@[yourdomain]. You will do this by adding the following line to your list of aliases: "marydirect@[yourdomain] mary". Note that you do not include the domain name when creating an alias to your POP account.

Finally, set up your autoresponder. Create the autoresponder with the same name as your POP account, mary@[yourdomain]. This will cause the autoresponder to override your POP account, thus sending an instant response. In order for your to receive a copy of e-mail sent the autoresponder, you need to "send original to: marydirect@[yourdomain]".

Should you disable the autoresponder, email will still arrive at your address without the need to change your configuration. This is a great plus if you only intermittently require an autoresponse.

 

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