Free WordPress Autoresponder? Yes, please!

Illustration by Liquidink Design Rooster crowing illustration

MailPoet, our newsletter plugin, offers a simple and free WordPress autoresponder solution. Here’s a quick video of how it works:

I set out to write a full comparison of autoresponder plugins. I searched, I tried, and I got discouraged.

Instead, this post will cover our own solution for this email marketing must. No more, no less.

If you have less than 1,000 subscribers, it won’t cost you a dime to set up. Ready?

What is a typical WordPress autoresponder?

It’s an email that is sent automatically to someone after he does something. In MailPoet, there are 2 such events:

  1. When someone subscribes to a mailing list.
  2. When someone subscribes to your site as a WordPress user.

Here is a welcome email example from the BBC:

Example of a welcome email from the BBC.

Another example, you can send 3 emails with instructions and create an online course. Each are sent a week apart, after someone subscribes. This often called a “drip campaign” in marketing terminology.

Why are autoresponders useful?

Because they create engagement with your subscribers immediately from the beginning. In fact, we often see autoresponders, like Welcome Emails (read our full guide), get 50% or more open rates.

Also, the fact that these are automated makes your life a whole lot easier.

When are autoresponders annoying?

  1. When you send too many of them in short period of time.
  2. When your content isn’t interesting, or old.
  3. When the emails are not personalized.

What are typical mistakes in autoresponders?

Since they’re automated, website admins forget about them! The content will get old or irrelevant.

Put yourself a reminder in your calendar to check every so often the contents of your autoresponders.

Can the activation email be an autoresponder?

We suggest to our users wait for their subscribers to double opt-in first before sending them an autoresponder.

But yes, you can use the signup confirmation email that a new subscriber gets to confirm his subscription as an autoresponder. You might want to include a download link, for example.

Indeed, MailPoet sends an activation email after someone subscribes so he can confirm his email address. But beware of this technique because:

  1. If you have an important link, your subscriber might forget to confirm his subscription in the first place
  2. MailPoet’s activation email can’t be redesigned (it looks like a simple text email) and offers no stats.

Where is the WordPress autoresponder in MailPoet?

In your WordPress admin, simply go to MailPoet > Emails > Add new. In this step, you’ll find the autoresponder under Welcome Emails:

Welcome Email selection in MailPoet

Is a free WordPress plugin really right for this?

Of course! MailPoet is a fully fledged and yet essentially free email plugin.

Will MailPoet improve its simple autoresponder?

Yes, we will. We would eventually like to group autoresponders in a sequence so they’re grouped together. Easier to manage!

We’ve also added a series of autoresponders designed specifically for WooCommerce. Take a look at our WooCommerce features to find out more.

Give us your feedback in the comments below and we’ll be happy to read them.