Whether you are responding to the same type of e-mail on a daily basis or you would just like to add an automatic response to e-mails sent to a specific domain address, you can accomplish such a task using the "autoresponder". An autoresponder will send a standard response e-mail message (based on a text file you specify) to anyone who sends an e-mail to a specific e-mail address (which you specify) at your domain. Each of our hosting plans allow you to set up a specific number of autoresponders for free. If you need more, you can set up additional autoresponders for a small additional charge.

How to set up an autoresponder:

  1. Create a plain text file which contains the message you wish to have automatically sent (e.g. sales_request_response.txt) and upload it to your domain in ASCII mode via FTP (unless you use FrontPage).
  2. Use your Web browser to go to the E-mail Settings section of your account Control Panel (go to yourdomain.com/stats/ and enter your userID and password, click on E-mail Settings and re-enter your userID and password if requested). This page allows you to set your e-mail forwarding, POP accounts, and autoresponders for your account.
  3. Go to the 'Autoresponders' section of your E-mail Settings page. It will look like this:
    @your_domain File to send Reply to Who to Notify
  4. Under the "@your_domain" heading, enter the e-mail address at your domain which is intended to invoke the autoresponder. For example, if you want an autoresponse message sent to anyone who sends an e-mail to "info@yourdomain.com", you would enter "info". When a user sends an e-mail message to this address (info@yourdomain.com) the autoresponder will automatically reply with the message you specify.
  5. Under the "File to send" heading, enter the location of the text file you uploaded in step 1 which contains the autoresponse message. The text in this file will be sent in an e-mail message to whomever sends an e-mail to the address you specified in step 4. Be sure to enter the complete path to the file relative to your home directory (example: /subdir/mystuff/services.txt). If you uploaded the file to the main level of your account (the 'root') you would just enter the name of the file, since the file is not located within any subdirectories.
  6. Under the "Reply to" heading, enter the e-mail address from which you want to have your autoresponse message appear to be coming. This address will appear in the 'From:' heading in the autoresponse e-mail. If the user replies to the autoresponse message, the reply will be sent to this e-mail address.
  7. Optionally, under the "Who to Notify" heading, enter the e-mail address of someone you want to have receive a copy of the original incoming e-mail message that invoked the autoresponder.

In the above example, any person who sends an e-mail to "info@yourdomain.com" will receive an auto-response via e-mail which contains the message from the file named "services.txt". If the recipient replies to the auto-response, their reply will be delivered to the address "sales@your_domain". Also, a copy of the original incoming e-mail will be sent to "bob@somedomain.com".

Setting up an autoresponder for an e-mail address already in use

What if you want to add an autoresponder for an e-mail address that is already in use? Let us assume your e-mail address is user@yourdomain.com. What you will need to do is change your existing e-mail account to something like user2@yourdomain.com, and set up an autoresponder as follows:

@your_domain user
File to send (name of file, see step 5 above)
Reply to user2@yourdomain.com
Who to Notify user2@yourdomain.com

The effect is to send every message that user@yourdomain.com receives to your "true" mailbox at user2@yourdomain.com. This way you can leave the "from" and "reply-to" settings of your e-mail program set to user@yourdomain.com, and the people sending you mail will never know the difference.

Adding a Subject: line

Most e-mail messages you receive have a subject line. To specify a subject, you can simply add a line at the top of the autoresponder message text file (step 1) that reads:

Subject: Information about our services

You would replace 'Information about our services' with whatever subject you want to have for the autoresponse e-mail.

How to "Bounce" All E-mail Sent to an Address

To "bounce" all e-mail sent to a particular address and return a message to the sender, simply leave the "who to notify" field blank. The sender will receive the autoresponse, and the incoming message will be discarded.

Please note: the information on this page applies to ITS web hosting plans. It may or may not apply to other environments. If you are looking for a feature described here, or better support from your hosting provider, please consider hosting your site with ITS!

1555 N Naperville/Wheaton Road, Suite 107
Naperville, IL 60563
phone 630.420.2550
fax 630.420.2771